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09 November 2006 at 05:13

HNT hunt develops a mynah hitch

Every year at this time I have to chase the last few penguins off the island. They need to swim south for the summer, as it's too hot for them here just now.

Usually they leave willingly, but one or two of them have developed a taste for the home brew, and require persuasion to head off for the stone cold sober waters of the Antarctic.



The penguins steal my beer, but there are worse pests than penguins. For years the islands have been infested with Indian Mynah birds. Originally they came from Malaysia I think, but here they have run amok in the absence of any natural predators.

There are now millions of mynahs, and they are regarded as vermin. They eat the food that the parrots depend on, so some native species are dying out. And they gang up to torment my dog, swooping on her with a deafening squawking when she goes in the garden.

Back in September, just before I went overseas to check my pension fund, I had a brainwave. I would cull the worst birds, the ones making the dog's life hell. So I sat quietly in the garden, called the dog out, and waited till they showed up. Using an adult-size catapult (technically illegal here) and M&Ms, I shot the basturns as they flew in. The theme from 633 Squadron ran through my head. And the dog got very excited. In her mind, I was at long last showing some promise as a top dog, leading the pack in a real wild food hunt.





Most of my shots missed of course, but I had a few lucky hits and the birds got the message. For once, the sky was silent and the dog could relax. But as we all know, everything balances up, and for every action there will be an opposite re-action. Eventually.

Meanwhile, I went away to Europe for a month.

Soon after I returned here, I went out to do some gardening.

Have you ever seen the Hitchcock film "The Birds"? It's a preposterous movie about a woman who is attacked by crows. An unlikely story and a boring film. But as I stood in the garden, mynahs flew in from all over the neighbourhood. Ignoring the dog, they took it in turns to dive-bomb me, nearly blowing my eardrums out with their racket. They had remembered me - the guy who shot at them a couple of months earlier. Clever birds.

They're turning the garden into a no-go area for me. I should have thought of that. I may have to escalate.



HNT_1

If you missed previous HNTs, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts here.



This is a freelance Taoist blog.
Every true story contains a wee lie.
And every lie contains a grain of truth.

Blogger keda said...

well judging by that pic your aim certainly wasn't up to much! no wonder they aren't scared!

shame too, as it would have been funny to know that death by chocolate actually worked. sorry i'm feeling slightly wicked today.. but i prefer dogs over meany birds anyday.

too much brew i reckon. both you and me.

oh and its my shoulders in my picture.. i'm bowing my head.  

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Blogger Regal said...

very nice photo - Happy HNT  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! At last! Some retribution! You'll have to capture one of their young and bring it up by hand. Then it will get Stockholm Syndrome and when it grows up, it will tell the other birds you are their friend now. Obviously, some grovelling and capitulation would do since these birds are surely way too smart for you! Hope this helps! Hotboy  

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Blogger ion said...

What a fantastic, preposterous story. Here in the Land of the Kiltie, it's magpies protecting nests in spring, and all year round the predatory seagulls that are to be watched. One swooped down and stole a poke of chips from my hands! I think the Cooncil is trying to control their numbers with contraceptive-laced grain, thank God.  

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Blogger lime said...

i'll send in my limelets with shotguns and rifles. you need real fire power.

HHNT  

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Blogger Phain said...

i love the idea of pelting birds with chocolate candies! *~*happy hnt*~*  

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Blogger Suze said...

Rob, did they bring back you M & M's? Or did they get you a box of Dairy Box. lol

Happy HNT sweetie ;)  

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Blogger lily said...

what a way to live, dive bombing birds and m&Ms as ammunition. lol. How funny.

HHNT!  

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Blogger Wenchy said...

Happy HNT to you and da penguins.  

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Blogger robmcj said...

hb - your idea for conquering the mynahs sounds too much like work. How much do you charge to put up a nest box for them, then smash it to the ground? I'll throw in a night with the old dear.

lime - er, thanks.

wenchy - couldn't get your blog to open this week.  

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Blogger LEE ANN said...

Hey! The birds are pretty, are they really pests?

Happy HNT sweetie!
~xo  

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Blogger robmcj said...

lee ann - yes, though every true story contains a wee lie.  

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Blogger Schadeboy said...

You need to photoshop your aim a little more to the left.

Cool story, though. Well written, too. Thanks for that!

Happy HNT.  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Thank you to all the people who pointed out that my aim is photoshopped too far to the right. I did that on purpose, as the catapult is the same colour as the bird, and is hard to see if they are exactly superimposed.  

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Blogger Lelly said...

What an apalling (appaling?) waste of M&M's surely you could have used the coffee/strawberry/orange creams left over from that box of Dairy Milk? And how kind of you to explain what 'Running Amok' means...I always thought it referred to a weave fault in the cloth of a lightweight bed strung between two trees (not laboured at all, that 'joke'eh!)

Have ye missed me??  

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Blogger Menzies Milngavie III said...

I say,

The solution is easy. Spread some lion dung around the vicinity. Scares off anything. Worked a treat here when we were infested with lilac crested rollers a few years back.

Shall I see if they have some dung on offer at Kandodo?

MM III  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Lelly - Och aye, a course I mussed ye, if no yur jokes.

Glad you're back, now I can publish my 3 more weird things (appalling version). PS There's no charge for the spelling lesson.

MM - I think hotboy has an excess at the allotment.  

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