Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

Beauty and the bird

July 30th, 2011

YOU'LL SCARCELY believe it   I didn't until I saw the scars of the claw punctures in his skull   Photographer Bruce Robertson who has the Photo Centre at 177 E. High Street, Forfar is a keen cyclist, clocking up 100-150 miles per week as part of his fitness regime   Not long ago he was the victim of an extraordinary attack by a buzzard.

Cycling from Forfar to Montrose, and approaching the Farnell junction, he received a blow from behind which felt as if someone had kicked a football very hard into the back of his head   Although stunned by the impact he managed to keep his balance and stop   With the evening sun behind him the last sight he had of his attacker was the menacing shadow of its outspread wings on the road ahead of him as the bird flew off.

Buzzards like open country near areas of woodland and their diet consists mostly of small mammals, especially rabbits, and insects and worms with some tasty carrion when it's fresh   There's no way this buzzard would have mistaken Bruce's head for a likely meal so there has to be another explanation for the attack.

About the same time as Bruce's contretemps I was writing about young buzzards getting in the way of cars going up and down the drive to the house   In this case I suspect a fledgling bird was somewhere nearby and Bruce was perceived by the parent bird as a potential threat to its young, and the attack was a protective measure.

I don't imagine it's a first attack ever by a buzzard on a human, but it's certainly the first one in my experience   After nearly three weeks Bruce still has a sore neck and shoulders which gives an idea of the deadly power of the impact when such a large raptor drops out of the sky and pounces on its prey.

Mind you, if Bruce had been wearing a helmet at the time he might have got off more lightly!   But he tells me this is high on his shopping list.

Macbeth was trailing behind as usual on the early morning walk along the burn-side   I was about to shout at him to get a shift on when a roe deer calfie came out of the cover of rhododendron bushes and trotted towards him, as if wanting to play.

Its light tan flanks shone in the morning sun, the inquiring radar ears too big for its head were flickering to pick up any messages, slender legs and skinny body had yet to fill out into adulthood – a picture of natural innocence.

It doesn't matter that I didn't have a camera to capture the moment because it's an image I'll long remember in my mind's eye   I don't often get misty-eyed about nature, but it was such a bonny sight.

Written on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 10:34 am for Weekly.