This story currently on the Mail website caught my eye:

Dive-bombing buzzard

‘Vicious’ attacks and talons being sunk into ‘terrified locals’ sounds pretty disturbing. Then you click on the article and read it and things become rather less dramatic:

Horse rider Lindsey Wake had a lucky escape when she fell victim to the hawk-like bird.

‘I was totally bemused. I couldn’t see because the helmet had come down over my eyes. I had no idea what it was at first.

‘The helmet is all scratched and marked underneath. The talons could have got my head.’

So, a horse rider gets a slightly scratched helmet and distinctly no ‘talons’ sunk into her flesh at all. What about other victims? Well:

A-Level student Charlotte Colley was also attacked on the lane recently as well as her 16-year-old brother Jack.

OK, now we’re talking, surely this innocent girl was viciously mauled. Let’s see:

‘I was in shock – it came out of nowhere. I just didn’t see the buzzard coming…

‘I had pinpoints of blood across my scalp where the claws had dug into me. It’s very worrying and people are avoiding the area now.

Pinpoints of blood‘, I was expecting huge, permanent scares after reading the Mail headline and strap-line, not scratched head-wear and ‘pinpoints of blood’. Surely there must be other residents who suffered one of these ‘series’ of attacks and were seriously injured? No, of course not and tellingly ‘No-one has reported the incidents’; except to the Daily Mail it seems. The Mail wraps up the article with a few words from a RSPB spokesman:

‘The buzzard is only protecting its nest. The best advice is to avoid that lane for a while.’

Presumably the spokesman was cut off before they could also give advice to national newspapers about how to avoid making much ado about nothing.

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