After all these years of spotting the swooping magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) just in time, or hearing the whoosh as the go for the back of the head, today my luck ran out.

Damn! Ouch.

I was cruising home slowly up the Dandenong road service lane, no point in exerting yourself when the temperature is up around 35 °C, somewhere alongside the sports oval where the old men play boules there came out of the blue a completely unexpected smack on the side of the head. What the #@#(%@)^@! was my immediate thought, some kid’s thrown a ball at me! I then glanced around to see the culprit spiralling up for another attack run. Madly waving my arm above my head I rode on, out of range, out of the nesting territory.

One bleeding ear, one bruised ego. One satisfied magpie.

Have you ever tried to take a macro photo in the mirror of your own ear? No, I didn’t think so. Go and try it, that’ll explain why there’s no photographic proof of the damage done.