STILL SWOOPING: A magpie alert sign has been placed on Dixon Drive.
STILL SWOOPING: A magpie alert sign has been placed on Dixon Drive. Greg Bray

Dealing with the Dixon Drive dive-bomber

Folks, my cries of "It's January! January you feathered bird brain!" would have been heard the length of Dixon Drive.

Unfortunately, no one, particularly the magpie hammering my bicycle helmet, cared less.

I don't know why this particular bird was still trying to peck it's way through my skull each morning, but it must have missed the note announcing the end of hostilities.

Australia's cyclists and pedestrians spend months dealing with swooping magpies.

It's the perfect storm really.

Magpie breeding season starts in Spring, just as the more active among us decide it's time to pop outdoors for a little stroll or genteel pedal.

After more years of being sconed than I can count, I noted last years magpie season started particularly early and for some reason is still going.

Surely this has to be some sort of record?

At the peak of the 2018 season I was being ambushed at three places on my ride to work.

And one afternoon I nearly had a heart attack trying protect a little girl who was enjoying her first, and possibly last, bicycle ride.

The attacks finally petered out in mid-December, but just as I breathed a sigh of relief, the magpie on Dixon Drive decided to clock back on for some overtime.

As usual I found out the hard way.

One sunny morning, just after Christmas, I pedalled past a woman who was singing as she pushed a pram along the footpath.

I slowed to enjoy the song and was stunned to find myself being smacked repeatedly about the head by the black and white bomber.

To add insult to injury the woman stopped singing and started laughing. Even her kid thought it funny.

But it appears I wasn't the only victim in the firing line, because someone must have called the Magpie Police.

The next day the council swung into action and tied a magpie warning sign onto a nearby post.

For the next few mornings I rode past the sign frantically waving one arm over my head to fend off the frenzied attacks.

Frankly, the best use for the magpie warning sign would be to cut it off the post and hold it over my head while pedalling through the danger zone.

But it worked, because the swooping stopped. Maybe the magpie read the sign and decided the gig was up?

I sure hope nothing's happened to the little twit.



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