Angry 'bird of prey' attacks valleys runner

10:54am Tuesday 17th June 2014

By Jen Mills

A CROSSKEYS man believes a buzzard targeting runners has struck again, after he was hit by a large bird while out running on a quarry.

In July 2011 Alan Rosier, 37, told the Argus about an encounter on a fire-break road in Forestry Commission woodland close to his home in Pontywaun, when an overbearing bird swooped down and tried to attack him.

Now another Pontywaun runner believes the bird is back.

Father-of-four Andy McIntyre, 46, was out on the firebreak road at Cox’s Quarry training for the Cardiff Half Marathon at around 9am last Thursday when he was suddenly struck to the back of the head.

He said the force of the blow knocked his sunglasses off and made him stumble forward, believing he might have been hit with a brick.

But the true culprit became apparent after a large bird of prey followed him from tree to tree as he continued with the run.

“I didn’t really know what was happening,” he said.

“I felt like somebody had dropped a piece of wood on the back of my head.”

After looking around and seeing nothing, he started to run again.

“Out of the corner of my eye I saw the bird swooping back down. I carried on running, but I was more or less running backwards making sure I didn’t get attacked. It followed me for about a mile, going from tree to tree. It must have been protecting its nest, I’m guessing.

He felt scratches to his head but when he checked later on he had escaped unscathed.

Mr McIntyre thought he recognised the foot-high, motley brown bird as a buzzard after spotting the predator on a holiday to Scotland.

An internet search confirmed his suspicion, and he came across the 2011 Argus article warning joggers about the belligerent bird.

“If somebody is there with young children, they could get hurt,” he said.

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