Video captures moment Portsmouth man is attacked by Southsea Common 'mad crow'

A DOG walker has captured the moment a violent crow attacked him on Southsea Common.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 3:24 pm

Wayne Woollard, 55, was taking his friend’s dog West Highland White Terrier, Lilly, for a walk when he said a ‘mad crow’ attacked.

He is the latest in a series of people to speak out about the bird – or birds – clawing passers-by, runners and on Monday a News journalist.

Wayne said he switched on his phone camera after the crow attacked twice. He caught it on film swooping onto his head.

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Wayne Woollard, 55, from Southsea, was attacked by a crow on Southsea Common. Picture: Wayne Woollard

But he had to leave the common after the crow started attacking his friend’s dog.

Wayne, who was near Portsmouth Naval Memorial at the seafront, said: ‘I was walking across the common and I suddenly felt something grabbing my coat at the back and I realised it was a crow and laughed it off.

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

‘Then I walked a bit further and it was following me. It was hopping behind me.

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

‘I thought “this is weird” - I’ve a funny feeling it was something to do with my hood, it was black so it might have thought it was another crow.

‘It hurt the second time - it got my head so I swore at it.

‘My friend’s dog started barking at it and chasing it, and it (went) at the dog.

Wayne Woollard, 55, from Southsea, was attacked by a crow on Southsea Common. Picture: Wayne Woollard

‘It lasted 15 minutes (in all) so I had to turn off and go home and get off the common.

‘They seem to be vicious at the moment.’

It’s not clear why the crow swooped at Wayne and others.

Keith Betton, chairman of Hampshire Ornithological Society, said he was not convinced the incidents involving the carrion crows were attacks.

Mr Betton, author of Where to Watch Birds in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said crows could have been protecting their young in the summer period.

‘For it to happen at other times doesn’t really make sense,’ he said.

‘So I’m beginning to think of whether this crow that’s in Portsmouth has been, for example, someone’s pet and therefore associates people with food and friendship, and isn’t necessarily attacking but more approaching in the hope that someone is going to offer it food.

‘Sometimes people take birds from the wild and think it’s a fun thing to have but they realise it’s going to be a bit more demanding than expected and let it go into the wild.

‘If it’s happened there, it’s probably a bird that’s associating people with good as it’s been fed by hand as a baby and then been let out.’

Matt Coumbe, from the Portsmouth branch of the RSPB, said he would endeavour to see the bird.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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