A shadow, a flash of black and white, a rustle of feathers, a loud click, and shear panic ensues.
That's right, magpie season has started early this year, with several Tamworth residents already reporting a slew of encounters of the native birds protecting their territory and their young.
The Tamworth magpie cares not for the human calendar, having already begun a campaign of assaults in the final month of winter, however experts say a little bit of caution and patience can keep everyone safe, including the birds.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman said the diving behaviour was the birds protecting their newborn chicks.
"Magpies start breeding as soon as conditions are suitable including when weather begins to warm up," a spokesman said.
"Magpies are very protective of their chicks. Some, but not all, magpies swoop anyone they see as an intruder in their territory."
Griffith University behavioural ecologist Dr Darryl Jones said that while most magpies are sedate, a small handful "just attack everybody".
"Only around 10 per cent of magpies attack, and of that about half of them target pedestrians. The remaining half go for either cyclists or posties and there's a very, very small group of magpies that just attack everybody," Dr Jones said.
Alarmingly the birds have long life spans, and very long memories.
"Scientists have found they actually remember people and faces, and actually attack the same people each year, which is not good if you have one in your front yard."
But he has received some cunning advice.
"Befriend the birds. Feed them so they don't see you as an enemy."
Other things that can be done to avoid or minimise attacks and potential injuries include avoiding known attack areas for the month of September, protect your head and eyes with a hat, helmet and sunglasses, keep eye contact with the bird, and even wear sunglasses on the back of your head as they like to attack from behind, or even carry an umbrella.
TEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT MAGPIES
* Australian magpies have one of the most complex bird songs in the world - it can range over four octaves.
* They produce a range of sounds, from a soft and pleasant warbling to a group caroling chorus that is considerably louder, reaching up to 100 decibels.
* These birds are very helpful around our gardens and parks as they eat up many garden bugs like the lawn-destroying curl grub, helping protect your plants.
* Magpies are found across Australia, but most states will have their own sub-species with its own unique plumage patterns.
* Magpies take good care of their young and have been known to receive help from other family members when raising their chicks.
* Their diet is varied and includes worms, insects, snails, spiders and sometimes even skinks, mice and other small animals.
* They even do their part to control the cane toad population, having learned a method of consuming the poisonous pest by flipping it over and eating its underside.
* Magpies are excellent mimics that can copy other birds' calls and even human voices.
* Scientists have discovered that magpies use their beaks, eyes and body language to point out danger to other magpies.
* They are the first species other than humans and chimps to use pointing to communicate - proving they have higher cognitive abilities than previously thought.