A Watsonia man’s rampant magpie phobia has extended into his nightmares as this year’s swooping season begins in earnest. Brayden Prentice said a lifetime of savage swoopings and near misses has manifested in a deep-seated fear of the aggressive birds, but this is the first time the phobia has infiltrated his sleep.

Bravely speaking to The Watsonia Bugle, Prentice said, “No doubt, this is always a difficult time of the year for me, but haunting me in my dreams is a new low. The other night, I dreamt that a giant magpie just swooped down and clutched me in its giant beak. I mean, how am I supposed to get back to sleep after that?”

Prentice also claimed that the surprise recent success of the namesake football team could embolden the birds even further this September. He said, “If the Pies get going during the footy finals, we could be in real strife. These birds are out of control at the best of times, we don’t need them walking any taller.