Portsmouth runner attacked twice by aggressive crow on Southsea seafront

A STARTLED runner has told of his shock at being dive-bombed by an aggressive crow – twice.

By Ben Fishwick
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:05 pm

Active Russ Ward 38, suffered cuts to his scalp in the second avian attack while going along his route in Southsea.

Russ at first thought he was under assault from a yob who had thrown a bottle at him.

‘I thought someone had thrown a bottle at my head – it was a big jolt,’ Russ told The News.

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Crows at Southsea Common, Southsea on 18th May 2021. Inset: Russ Ward's injury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I span round and saw feet and he was just 2ft above me.

‘My instant reaction was “it’s just flown into me by accident”.

‘Then the more I thought about it, I could feel scratches on my neck.

‘It couldn’t have just flown into me.’

Crows at Southsea Common, Southsea on May 18, 2021. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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When he arrived home his wife checked him over and found the damage the feisty bird’s talons had wrought.

But he shrugged off the 5.30am incident last Thursday thinking ‘nothing of it’ but searched online about crow attacks.

Undeterred from the bird’s battering at the junction of Avenue De Caen near the D-Day Story, Russ followed the same route on Monday morning.

Crows at Southsea Common, Southsea on May 18. Picture: Habibur Rahman

His peaceful resolve did not last long.

‘I saw something swooping out the corner of my eye – and it swooped within 2ft of my head,’ Russ said.

He continued on his run but then saw another hapless runner targeted by the fearless feathered fury.

‘He’s gone to cross the road and got 20ft – it turned around and this crow has swooped down and cracked him on the back of the head,’ Russ said.

He added: ‘This is the third incident I’ve seen within three days – it’s bizarre.

‘I think they’re protecting a nest – why they’re targeting runners I don’t know.

‘This is almost a warning to let people know to be on their guard.

‘It’s quite sore, my head. I’m going to go a different route. It’s very odd.’

Russ said the crows have been active from the junction outside the museum and the Rock Gardens.

Running clubs told The News they had no reports of similar incidents.

News pictures show the crows currently in residence in the area.

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