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.
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."