The Southsea crow attacked me on my morning walk - this is what happened

I KNEW to wear my big coat when Siri warned me it was just six degrees in Southsea.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:23 pm

But what my phone failed to tell me was that wearing a crash helmet for this morning’s walk would’ve also been a good idea.

As I set off just after 7am, it started peacefully. Blissfully, in fact, as I sipped on a strong, hot coffee and watched the sun rise over the Solent.

It was intensely bright and reflected off the smooth sand exposed by low tide.

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Reporter Byron Melton in the outfit he was wearing when he was attacked by a crow in Southsea. Inset, a crow on Southsea Common.

The sea itself was glassy and gentle and my view of the Isle of Wight had an autumnal palette thanks to a reddish bank of trees lining the adjacent shore.

I was listening to Adele’s new album at the time. That’s not actually important, but you can imagine how being attacked by a wild animal might kill the mood.

Despite a biting breeze, it was a beautiful start to the week – the kind of serene moment that makes you feel like a main character.

As Adele bellowed the tear-jerking chorus of To Be Loved, I’m unashamed to say I was moved.

A crow pictured at Southsea Common, Southsea after Russ' injury in May. Picture: Habibur Rahman

But before she could dot the i’s and cross the t’s, my moment of zen was fractured by a sight that unsettled me.

Yards away, a crow was perched on the sea wall opposite the Pyramids.

That would’ve been inconspicuous if I wasn’t acutely aware of a story written by a colleague earlier this year.

The swine swooped at Russ not once but twice and left his scalp bloodied after a frantic peck.

I’ve seen many crows since reading that story but this one was the first to give off a genuinely bad vibe.

I got the feeling if I was this walk’s main character, this bird was to be my antagonist.

‘Don’t you bloody dare, mate,’ I quietly said as I passed it with a wide berth.

It tilted its head and tracked me with its gaze. Honestly, I just knew.

Like that Old Spice advert, my head turned from the bird, down to my cup and back to the bird as it suddenly jumped off the sea wall and out of my peripheral vision.

Before my eyes could even follow it I heard heavy rustling and felt a slap and a scratch on the back of my head. It actually went for me.

I ducked and jolted forward in shock, looked back and saw it fly off. A man walking behind me politely tried not to laugh.

If you’re that man and you’re reading this, you can laugh now. You saw me get attacked by a crow. That is hilarious.

But because this is a family newspaper I can’t repeat what I exclaimed after the incident.

Thankfully unlike Russ I don’t have any wounds. I’ve just got a story to tell.

But please believe me when I say the Southsea crow is real.

People of Portsmouth – be on your guard.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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