Buzzard Attack!

Long-suffering readers of this Blog will perhaps have realised that getting some good photos of a buzzard or buzzards is a long cherished ambition of mine. (My best effort so far can be found here.)

On Tuesday I spurned an opportunity to get some close-up action shots of a prey’s-eye view of a buzzard swooping.

I was walking locally, but a little off my usual immediate patch. Approaching a thin stand of mature trees I heard a kew kew and moments later a buzzard flew from the trees ahead and to my left. Then a second, smaller bird appeared from the trees more directly in my path. As I walked through the trees both birds circled overhead and continued to call. The calls of the smaller (and therefore probably male) bird seemed always to be quite close overhead, although I only had quite brief glimpses of it through the leaf canopy. I was soon into the field beyond the trees and was continuing on my way when I felt, heard – whoosh, and finally saw the smaller buzzard whizz close over my head. I didn’t see it until it had already passed over, but I felt that it had probably only narrowly missed my head. What’s more it banked, turned and swooped back toward me!

Calmly, I raised my camera and waited……..

Actually….I took to my heels! I don’t think that there were any onlookers, but if there had been they would perhaps have enjoyed the spectacle of a portly figure, bent double, arms waving ineffectually, running across the field, chased by the buzzard making repeated swoops low above my head.

The buzzard relented after perhaps 7 or 8 passes and landed in a tree on the edge of the small stand where I had first seen it.

From where it continued to call stridently. I didn’t take too well to my decision to stop to take photos and moved to successively closer trees…

…before flying back over again (at a more comfortable distance)….

…and then stooping at my head one last time, admittedly in a rather more half-hearted way.

Throughout the female had stayed away, but she now flew back into view, calling still, and the male flew to join her in the stand of trees.

Excitement over!

It seems that I may have had a lucky escape.

Buzzard Attack!

11 thoughts on “Buzzard Attack!

  1. beatingthebounds says:

    It was alarming. The bunny costume is at the dry cleaners at the moment, which is another story entirely…..
    I assume that the buzzard was defending a nest, but I don’t know for sure.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Perhaps I should be warning other potential victims who might walk that path, but I’m not sure how. ‘Beware of the buzzard’ signs would just look like unfriendly farmer attempts to discourage walkers!

  2. Mark Dijkens says:

    Hi, I just had the very same experience on a new walk near where I live in Little Dewchurch. Two buzzards circled above my head while I was crossing an open field, making my way towards the woods. Suddenly, one bird swooped VERY close over my head and the sound was incredible. I never experienced anything remotely like it! What a power; what a beauty! I tried to keep an eye on new approaches – but he was too fast! He managed to swoop me 3 times before I jumped the fence and found shelter in the woods. The buzzard kept a close eye on me from the top of a tree, overlooking the field. They kept calling to each other all the time – and it was quite the experience! Did not have my camera by as I was running… What a shame!!!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      That’s interesting – I thought that these sort of attacks were in defence of a nest, but it seems a bit late in the year for that. But if there was a pair….? Hm – curious!
      Thanks for that Mark.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Yes, I heard about the Eagle Owl problem from my colleague the Proper Birder, who lives on a farm not too far from Dunsop Bridge.
      How about a Chocolate Lab?

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