This is not the kind of behaviour this sleepy village is used too. I was out on location near Kirkmicheal, South Ayrshire photographing dippers feeding their chick when I heard quite a commotion in the grass. I went over to take a closer look and saw these two starlings having a scrap.
First of all I thought they were just playing but then as I looked through the lens I could see bits of blood on their beaks. They would peck at each other in their heads, I also noticed each birds claws would be locked into each other, trying to protect themselves. This was serious stuff! I went closer on my knees, and they stopped fighting to look at me. Thinking I had blown it and they would fly away, they just ignored me and carried on!
They went at it for at least 5 minutes, then one of them suddenly decided to quit. The other looked injured and just laid there but as I went to investigate he too flew away. It was like something out of a gladiator movie!
Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are an often overlooked birds but taking a closer look at them they are full of character and colour. They can be very noisy and gregarious birds usually seen in large flocks producing a beautiful murmuration in the sky. They have their own song but often mimic other bird calls or sounds. They can be very aggressive over food or territory.
This story made the press in the Telegraph and the Scottish Herald.