Head First Towards a Buzzard's Bum

Clearly, he had not been taught the highway code. He launched himself into space, from a height of about twelve feet, and only as he sank towards the road did he glance to his right.

We made eye contact. Him battling against gravity to generate lift under his wing. Me assisted by gravity, hurtling down the hill into Glenfinnan on my road bike.

This was a race I did not want to win. My face was less than a metre from his tail feathers and getting closer, fast. I could see every detail in his fanned out tail, every fold in the crinkled yellow of his legs, even a glint from the dull shine of his talons.

My God they looked big. My acceleration might lead to a laceration.

Suddenly, he found the lift he needed. He rose to the right and wheeled away. I rolled into the Scottish National Trust cafe and ordered a coffee to help me through the shock, glad I hadn't ended up like this guy.

We see and hear lots of buzzards around our house, particularly in the spring. They're nicknamed 'tourist eagles', and I've always thought them quite small compared to the Golden Eagles and Sea Eagles we see. "Oh it's just a buzzard", we'll say.

Having seen one in flight, so staggeringly close up, I have a much greater respect for this bird of prey.

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