Turning off to the beach at Brancaster in Norfolk I was met with a fantastic sight. I was on the way to Holkham Hall Estate for a day out, but I always bring my camera for the birds of prey. I don't know why but they fascinate me. As the car went along the rough road, Carole called my attention to a bird of prey. It was either a buzzard or a marsh harrier.
I stopped the car and quickly got out my camera. The two birds were at some distance but this was no courting of birds of prey. It was an Ariel battle between a crow and, I think, a buzzard.
I'm no lover of crows because they are everywhere. As a dustman, I see them in large numbers at the landfill site when we empty the Fenland's rubbish. The tips are full of all sorts of carrion birds. Crows, ravens, rooks and various types of seagull too. To me they are dirty. Yet they are also necessary for our ecosystem. They clean things up and it is perhaps, us that are dirty with our refuse.
I think a buzzard or marsh harrier could hold it own against a crow. They are hunters with sharp talons. However, in the air, the crow seems more manoeuvrable and intelligent. It always seems to fly behind the bird of prey to harass and worry the raptor. It's as though the crow knows to keep its distance but to swoop nearby and from the rear to annoy the larger hunting bird.
The buzzard will glide and try to manoeuvre alongside the carrion crow but there always seems to be a way of twisting and turning to fall back behind the buzzard. Eventually, the buzzard gets driven off.