TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
The Evil One
Storm clouds gather over the pool and terrified fish take refuge from the assault from the skies!
The Heron have discovered the pools and now we have a major problem on our hands.
The time is November 2007 as the first of these aerial invaders arrives and lurks around the
garden and pool area. It doesn’t consider human life form as a major threat and, will if disturbed,
casually take off, circle the property, and land back somewhere else.
About a week of this goes by and we enlist our Squadron of Fighter Hawks who are only too
willing to harrass and buzz big birds encroaching on their hunting territory. They will zoom in
and distract “Big Bird” while another lines up for an attack from a different direction. However
the B52 size of this dammed bird is more than the Hawks can bring down.
INCOMING !! TAKE COVER!!
Scramble, Scramble, Scramble…. The Hawk Fighters launch
Attack from above…… “BANDIT 10 o’clock low”
The Bandit Departs
The Fighters Land
Eventually this huge bird alights on the electric pole and protected species or not I give it “one”
from the high powered air rifle. It lumbers off the pole and takes a low flight across the paddock
and dissappeared onto the neighbors property never to be seen again.
The Hawks on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert)
2007 comes to an end and the fish are happy in their habitat and the “blitz” has passed but
then one day in January 2008 another monster from the skies arrives in the form of the Great
Blue Heron. This one is very different from the earlier bird which had a white head and forebody
with dark blue wings. The newcomer is in “air defence grey plummage” with a black crested
head and an evil yellow beak. It must stand 3.5 feet tall and is a very, very determined bird.
It landed on one of my Sections! How DARE you!!!
This predator seems to have an all weather capability and must be equipped with night vision
goggles as it will frequently arrive before daybreak and also at dusk. Initially it would arrive at
dawn and would fly off as soon as I opened the door to walk the dogs. It would then fly a little
way and stay on a neighbors shed and just sit and wait. In the evening it would swoop down
and land in the paddock and stand there motionless before slowly creeping forward to get to
One night I’m backwashing the filters when this thing arrives, yes I did have my gun with me,
but I can’t get closer to him and in the half light he is making no attempt to come in. When do
these bloody birds ever go to roost? Eventually I’ve had enough and give him a warning shot
but at that range I don’t think it was a life threatening blow.
Clearly this dammed creature from hell has designs on the lower pool and every time it gets
in there is an oil residue on the surface. Another giveaway is that it always knocks over the
model Titanic on it’s entrance. So clearly the fish need protection and I get in the pool and
make some shelters using upturned drawers from an old Craftsman tool chest. The fish
quickly adapt to their new “hardened shelters” and seldom venture out.
I try a new tactic and position the car close to the pool and try using it as a hide……. sure
enough the bird arrives and after about 30 mins it comes in close enough for a shot. I take the
shot and give it a pretty hard thwack but it flies off into the dark. 2 days later I’m doing
paperwork at 0600 and need something from the car and as I turn to come back in the
house this festering creature is now sitting on the chimney. I manage to get the gun and
sneak out again and this time give him a hard hit in the beak! He tumbles off the roof and
6 weeks have elapsed since then and now the bastard is back, or if not then it’s another one!
This one is also clumsy and also knocks the Titanic over but regrettably seems to be a better
hunter and on Friday morning killed one of the largest Goldfish and may have eaten another,
and all this before dawn.
Right friend, this is now getting personal! Friday afternoon some old 135 lb fishing line from
one of my sea reels from Saudi Arabia is strung around the entry point to the pool which if it
doesn’t get tangled up in it should act as a deterrent. Saturday morning and I’m up at 0630
and as I make a cup of coffee I see the monster take off from the upper pool…….Bastard!
Out to the pool and there are gold and red scales and quite a lot of blood and now this
venonmous creature has taken at least 2 fish from my upper pool. More fishing line on the
upper pool and alarm set for this morning. By 0530 I’m in the “hide” and by 0645 it’s broad
daylight and Mr Heron is a no-show……. very clever!
The game continues…… Monday morning I’m established in the hide and I sit and wait as the
sun comes up…..rabbits and big fat quail saunter by, early morning crows pass en-route to
their feeding areas, doves come down to the pool to drink and even a humming bird flits
around the waterfalls, but again BIG BIRD is a no show! Do we have a security breach? is
there a spy in the pool, which side is the turtle on? Well the air defence forces remain vigilant
and we are on a high state of readiness to remove the threat…… for now the skies are clear
but what will happen…….. stay tuned to this channel for further news as it breaks.
Tuesday dawn and an error of judgment as I was topping up the pool last night and forgot to
turn the water off so thousands of gallons wasted as it overflowed. Still no sign of “Bin Laden”
…. either a very clever bird or it didn’t like the oriental sushi and has gone back to bass. Maybe
somebody else gave it a wallop or it’s found an easier feeding ground. We stay on a high
readiness state and await further developments.
Wednesday and the hide was moved as the deviant bird has been a no-show for the last 3
days, however at 0700, just a little later than normal, there was a total eclipse of the sun as I
looked out of the window. The monster approached the pool with evil intent and then quite
inexplicably it suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and fell down dead!
There was a large cheer from the pool and fish were jumping and there was much merriment
and singing in the babbling brook. The reign of terror is OVER!
Singing “cockles and muscles alive, alive, O”
Tony Down Protector of the Koi