Monday, 30 August 2010

September = Swoop season

I was out having a run yesterday morning. I am in training for the Bridge Run on September 19th, so I have to drag myself out of bed and run three times a week.

I go okay.

Yesterday I managed a respectable 56 minutes for my 8.5 (ish) km run. I look (and feel) like Cliffy Young*, but the old legs get me there. My left knee is starting to remind me that I have a genetically inferior design (I have matching legs with my Dad who has had 2 knee replacements), but overall the training is going well and I hope to run the 9k in about an hour.

Yesterday I was reminded that spring is around the corner. It was a lovely warm morning; a blue sky with a touch of wind. The birds were chirping.

I am not a big fan of birds. They scare me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the sound of their tweets and the colour of their plumage (and I don't mind eating a species or two, once cooked), but I can not stand the sound of their flapping wings.

I was hunted by a magpie when I was in my teens. Swooped. Pecked on the head. Hair removed for use in the nest I suspect the abhorrent bird was protecting. He drew blood and I found myself crawling across the ground, crying, trying to get away from his persistent swooping. Flap. Flap. Flap. Peck. Peck. The hunt went on for the duration of a large football field. It was really scary for me.

It did me in for life.

The magpies were out in force yesterday morning on my run. No swooping, but the sound of flapping overhead made me shudder. Spring is rapidly approaching and it is breeding season for the magpie.

I will have to map out my run carefully, avoiding magpie nests. It is a tough life for an Ornithophobic. Hey Dad!

* For those of you who are not from around here (or who entered the earth after 1983), Cliff Young was an Aussie farmer who won the Sydney to Melbourne ultra-marathon (875km) at the ripe old age of 61 years. Wearing gumboots. Without a wink of sleep. 7 days. He backed up the next year and came 7th. Needless to say, Cliffy invented 'the shuffle' that I am now perfecting!


MMBB said...

OMG I hate those stupid effing magpies! Theres a big gang of atleast 20 that live in my back yard. I cut down the tree they were hanging out in but now they're in the neighbours tree. They come into the yard when the kids are out, looking for food, and they come right up to use, one tried to take a sandwhich out of Muffins hand.

The stupid neighbours FEED them scraps of food. I spray them with the hose on 'Jet' whenever they come near me but that just makes them angry and call for the rest of them LOL.

I have fond memories of being chased, you know when you hear that *flap flap flap* you'd better duck and run.


life in a pink fibro said...

I think MMFB is right to call a group of magpies a 'gang'. They're ruffians. But you could always wear an icecream carton on your head - hey Dad?

Maxabella said...

I was thinking the ice cream container might be the go as well! Don't forget to draw on the eyes with your permanent marker... Keeping running, you're inspiring. x

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

You will LOVE the Bridge Run. Running over the bridge itself is utterly amazing, and the downhill run to the Opera House at the end is so exhilarating. And don't worry - I'm a Cliff Young shuffler too - remember - he got there in the end bless those socks of his {in those gumboots}

Kelly said...

I agree with MMBB maggpies are evil birds. Good luck with the running!

Tenille said...

I'm paranoid about Magpies too. Being swooped must have been horrible, they're little buggers in spring. Keep running though. Try a hat with eyes drawn on the top?

Jasmine said...

I once saw my sister kick a magpie that was swooping her. Totally by accident - she was doing cartwheels down a slope and this magpie swoops in while she's hands down/legs up, BOOT, kicked it. It promptly decided she wasn't worth the effort.

I've actually always (and still do) love magpies; we raised one years ago (at the advice of the local vet) and it was really sweet natured and affectionate! But I've never had the horror of being swooped and attacked by one, and they definitely have huge beaks. Apparently the best way to deal with them when they're likely to swoop is maintain a 'medium speed' - don't walk, but don't run?!

Kylez..aka...Mrs.P! said...

Oh man, just reading about that magpie gives me tingles, even though I've been lucky enough to never have been swooped(touch wood!). But I understand your terror, I used to be deathly scared of spiders (to the point of hyperventilating) but had to confront my fear when I moved to the 'sticks'! I'm not as bad now, as long as they don't take me by surprise! I don't encourage confronting the fear of magpies though, those things are vicious!

Good luck for the run, hope it all goes well!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Have you ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds"? If you haven't, I might suggest to steer clear of it...I've never been "swooped", but that movie was enough to give me the willies about birds!

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