THESE two brawling starlings went beak to beak in a fierce scrap captured by a wildlife photographer.

Mark Medcalf, who travels extensively in the UK and Europe, was trying to get pictures of a dipper in a sleepy part of Scotland when all hell broke loose in the grass nearby.

He went over to see the two birds locked in a struggle, pecking each other furiously.

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Mark, 52, was near his home in Kirkmichael, South Ayrshire when he heard a commotion in the grass. He said:

"I went over to take a closer look and saw these two starlings having a scrap.

"First of all I thought they were just playing but then as I looked through the lens I could see bits of blood on their beaks.

"They would peck at each other's heads.

" I also noticed each bird's claws would be locked into each other, trying to protect themselves.

"This was serious stuff."

He added: "They stopped fighting to look at me. I thought I had blown it but they just ignored me and carried on.

"They went at it for at least 5 minutes, then one of them suddenly decided to quit."