Most birds get pretty feisty in the breeding season. It could be all that testosterone knocking about, and sometimes the females are as bad as the males. Swans can be pretty formidable, as a couple of breeding birds on Whelford Pools (lake 111) discovered. These fantastic photos are courtesy of Rosie Ray.
I’d also like to alert you to the fact that my fellow PhD-er, Julian the wild Welshman of St Mary’s, is back on the Scillies searching for seabirds. He writes much longer and more amusing posts, so head over to http://theshagproject.wordpress.com/ for a read about what life’s like doing fieldwork from a converted gun battery.