Buzzard swoops on cyclist after mistaking helmet camera for rodent

Buzz off! Moment a buzzard swoops on a cyclist after mistaking his helmet camera for a tasty rodent in the Peak District

  • Alex Gilbert was enjoying a ride in the Peak District when the bird swooped 
  • When he felt the impact Mr Gilbert thought he may have been struck by a branch
  • But he saw the huge silhouette of the buzzard with its wings above his head 

A cyclist got an unexpected but magnificent close-up of a buzzard after the bird of prey swooped on his helmet camera.

Alex Gilbert was enjoying a ride in the Peak District when the bird seemingly mistook the camera for a rodent and moved in for a snack.

When he felt the impact Mr Gilbert, an architect, thought he may have been struck by a branch – but looking down he saw the huge silhouette of the buzzard with its wings above his head.

The RSPB says buzzards, which hatch their young in April, are not normally hostile towards people

Mr Gilbert, 39, a married father of one, had just set out from his home in Sterndale Moor, near Buxton, Derbyshire, for a 40-mile ride when the incident happened

And on arriving home he found he had a small wound on the back of his head from the buzzard catching him with its talons.

Mr Gilbert, 39, a married father of one, had just set out from his home in Sterndale Moor, near Buxton, Derbyshire, for a 40-mile ride when the incident happened.

‘I didn’t hear anything. I just felt this jolt at the back of my head,’ he said. ‘I wondered if it was a tree branch. I looked down and saw this silhouette of a big bird.’ He added: ‘The camera is a front and back- facing double-lens camera and it has a lead running off it to a power pack. I wonder if the buzzard thought the camera and cable was a rodent with a tail and that’s why it went for it.’

When he felt the impact Mr Gilbert, an architect, thought he may have been struck by a branch – but looking down he saw the huge silhouette of the buzzard with its wings above his head 

Mr Gilbert said the buzzard shot off like an ‘Exocet missile’. He said: ‘They are such quiet and majestic things. Before I realised what had happened, it was over.’

The RSPB says buzzards, which hatch their young in April, are not normally hostile towards people but can be aggressive when they have nesting chicks.

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