Just before teatime, I was outside, chucking some stale bread into the field for the crows to get rid of. There was a bit of a hubbub audible from the crow colony at the top of the ruined castle; that was suddenly broken by a high-pitched whistling “Pweeeh!Pweeeeh!” of a buzzard. Then the buzzard appeared over the trees and circled the field. It was still calling, and being answered by, another buzzard which soon joined the first one over the field.
“Ah, a mating pair!” I thought to myself. “So where’s the nest?” Then, a third and a fourth buzzard appeared and all four birds went into a circle and began slowly riding the thermals upwards. They still called to each other; maybe they were a family group.
Three of them hung the air smoothly, barely moving at all; the fourth had to keep dipping and correcting. When it came overhead, I saw why – there was a large gap in the main flight feathers of one wing. From a fight with something? A fox or a dog perhaps, but more likely a tussle with a crow or a raven over some tasty roadkill – like crows, their main diet is carrion.
I watched the four of them going higher and higher, until they were just specks against the clouds. Finally, a crow flapped over the field, flew around until it was satisfied the intruders had gone; then it settled at the top of the highest tree and spent several minutes cawing loudly and triumphantly.