Action stations – I put on my raincoat and hat and coughed my way over to the scene of the crime. Ping off maggie I yelled (or words to that affect 😉 ) while swirling my arms around my head like a mad woman. The magpie looked at me with some degree of skepticism and reluctantly retreated to the nearest gum tree viewing platform.
It’s not nesting season so my bravery thermometer was on a high reading (if it was Spring I would have still been on the veranda – yelling like a mad woman – hahaha). To approach within metres of a nesting magpie is to be foolhardy in the extreme (unless you are wearing a hard hat with protruding spikes – yes, people do wear these oh so fashionable accoutrements while riding their bikes in magpie country).
On approaching the echnida, with magpie on the retreat, I discovered he (or she) was not fatally wounded or even slightly wounded (very hard to tell with all those spikes). He seemed rather confused and was moving slowly. After five or ten minutes of shuffling around he appeared to get his bearings and scurried into the undergrowth of the dune vegetation that borders our sandy beach here on the shores of Hervey Bay.
I had no idea echidnas (first one I have seen in the wild) were so gorgeous. A lot like a wombat body with spikes (only smaller)
I said goodbye to the ant man and headed back home for a snooze (all that activity and all 😉 and I was still under the weather from the dreaded lurgy).
It was with great delight that a few days later I again saw my mate the echidna hanging about the side of our house, rummaging for ants and other yummy insect type things. I tore my daughter away from her android tablet and dragged her over to see the spine covered monotreme. The boy was stuck to his tablet with something stronger than mere interest (so we let him be).
Here is what happened next (sorry that it is a bit blurry and you might have to turn up the volume to listen to the somewhat ridiculous commentary):
By the way, my mate is a short-beaked echidna (the long-beaked echidnas are only found in New Guinea).