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Truckies under attack

THREE truckies who walked from a big roadhouse parking area to a nearby shop in late July got a nasty shock when they were attacked from above. It was a magpie that continued to swoop near their heads, making them fear for their eyes.

After about 50m the attacks stopped, much to the relief of the two Victorians and one NSW driver. This will probably happen to many truckies in coming months.

Spy did some research and found it was a male magpie wanting to protect its chicks.

Environment and Heritage Protection Department wildlife management director Dr Ashley Bunce said a few simple actions could help people avoid or minimise the chances of injury from a magpie. "The magpie breeding season lasts from July until December, peaking from August to October," Dr Bunce said.

"During the breeding season it's best to stay well clear of areas where magpies are known to be swooping, and particularly avoid the nesting tree. This can be any kind of tree, usually over 12m high.

"If you can't avoid the area, move through it quickly, but don't run. Be magpie smart and wear a hat and sunglasses or carry an umbrella."

Dr Bunce said it was important to remember that not all magpies swooped and they only did so while chicks were in the nest to drive away potential threats.

"Most swooping is by the male magpie and almost entirely in the magpie's defence zone, the area around the nest tree," he said.

"The defence zone is usually only about 100m in radius.

The male magpie's aim is to drive the perceived intruder away from the nest, not to cause injury.

"Remember that birds that swoop will only do so for about six to eight weeks of the year," Dr Bunce said.

Gas and smoking just don't mix

A COUPLE of truckies were sitting at a table and seats at the back of a big roadhouse when, alarmingly, they smelled gas.

They looked around and saw a gent who had arrived in an Iveco light rig filling up the two big gas cylinders used by the roadhouse kitchen to cook tasty treats. Several others who had bought food obviously didn't see the gas man as they pulled cigarettes from packets and prepared to light up.

After being warned it may not be a good idea they apologised and beat a hasty retreat to an area far out of the danger zone.

Viagra relief for sunburnt truckie

A South Australian truckie with a genuine sense of humour told Spy that he recently suffered a severe case of sunburn on his legs and feet.

"I went to my local doctor and he gave me a script for Viagra which totally had me in disbelief," he said. The driver went on to say he quizzed the doc on how Viagra would help his red legs which were starting to blister.

"The doctor said that during the night whilst I am in bed it will help to lift the sheets and stop them clinging to my sunburn," he said with a big laugh.

Have a guess what the truckies nickname is? Believe it or not.

When the truckie's away, who'll play?

A truckie who went on an interstate run and was away from home for a few weeks decided to let a younger relative stay under his high-blocked house.

It seemed a good move, considering there had been some break and enters in his suburb.

However the job finished a few days earlier than expected and the truckie arrived home unannounced.

What he found shocked him.

There were dirty dishes and pots all around the kitchen sink, his double bed had no sheets on it and the room needed to be fumigated.

Truckie went for a shower but couldn't find any clean towels, even in the linen cupboard.

Angry truckie took all of the dirty clothes and towels downstairs and found the washing machine was broken.

In the backyard he could smell urine and vomit and found his wheelie bin, which had not been emptied on the council run a day before, was overflowing with empty beer and spirit bottles.

Said truckie won't be allowing anybody to stay in his house for future away trips.

Horse tips

WHILE Spy would love nothing more than to provide our truckie champions with a few winning horse-racing tips, he can only come up with a warning about wild roaming brumbies at a remote part of Australia.

Several truckies who had been working at Bamaga, in far north Queensland, had close calls with herds of semi-feral horses running across roads there.

Bamaga is only accessible by road, albeit a long trip over red corrugated surface, during the dry season.

In the wet season trucks get there by barge landing at nearby Seisia.

While a 40kmh speed limit exists at Bamaga, horses frequently appear out of nowhere and gallop across roads.

So if you are in Bamaga beware of such animals.

Topics:  i spy on the road

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