When I was riding my bike to and from school, the swimming hole, tennis courts…wherever, I was never under threat from diving magpies. Back then, the maggies were not as far north as my little town. I think they are probably common throughout New Zealand now. Certainly, I see a lot of them in Auckland these days. And, yes, they do swoop down on people during nesting season. It’s all about survival, protecting the young.
Here in Australia there are signs dotted all about the town, warning of swooping magpies at this time of year. Some people carry open umbrellas, some people wear cardboard plates with a “scary face” drawn on them. (Yes, really!) And many cyclists wear modified skid-lids. Like this…
Trying to ward off cranky magpies with a brolly while negotiating “mums taxis” would be silly. So many cyclists attach cable ties to their helmets. It must work as I’ve never seen these riders being swooped!
This being the season for “makin’ whoopee” there are all kinds of birds and animals protecting their offspring from clod-hopping humans and natural predators.
We’ve heard more often the seen the curlews in the evening. web picture.Wikipedia
They make a bubbly whistling noise (hang on – I’ll try to find a recording… The ABC has one but you’ll have to click on “curlew” in the list;can’t get an embedding link. And man! are they fast movers. There was a small family scuffling in the leaves the other night and I thought it was probably scrub turkeys, but when The Man drove up the drive I saw Ma and Pa Curlew and( I think) 3 youngsters scuttle around the gate post and down the road.
Ready for some more art? Here is a piece made by some friends. Leonie did the drawings and her late husband, Rick, fired the pieces. I’m very pleased to have this, one of the last before Rick’s untimely death.
Oh-oh…Geiger’s up to her tricks again…she brings skinks in and deposits them in our slippers! It can be a bit of a shock to feel something against your toes. Most days, we shake the footwear before we slide our unsuspecting tootsies in…it could be worse.
Happy Hour, I think!