Photographer captures gull's ambush on Norwich peregrine

Norwich peregrine tries to avoid the gull

The incredible action shot taken by Chris Skipper at Norwich Cathedral of the peregrine trying to avoid giving up his meal to the hungry gull. - Credit: Chris Skipper

The ambush of Norwich's male peregrine by a hungry gull was captured in an incredible action shot by a Norwich photographer. 

Chris and Kim Skipper were celebrating their first week as newlyweds down at Norwich Cathedral, doing what they love most, taking pictures of the peregrines. 

The male peregrine tries to dodge the gull and keep its meal.

The male peregrine tries to dodge the gull and keep its meal. - Credit: Chris Skipper

The male peregrine tries to dodge the gull and keep its meal.

The male peregrine tries to dodge the gull and keep its meal. - Credit: Chris Skipper

And after a couple of hours of watching the male peregrine return "empty-taloned" the couple saw he had company as he tried to bring back a pigeon to the nesting box. 

The action shot was taken at 7.30am on Saturday morning. 

The peregrine had to loop several times around the cathedral to try and avoid the gulls.

The peregrine had to loop several times around the cathedral to try and avoid the gulls. - Credit: Chris Skipper

Mr Skipper said: "I didn't realise I had it. I take so many frames then when I got home and looked at and went that's a bit different. It looks as if I've put the gull in the background but that is what's happened. 

"We were standing in the cloisters and [the male peregrine] went off and disappeared. We heard the gulls first. There must have been five or six gulls following him, he had a pigeon. 

"Sadly the pigeon became the property of the gulls but the number of gulls was a concern as the falcons are currently incubating four eggs. 

The peregrine had to loop several times around the cathedral to try and avoid the gulls.

The peregrine had to loop several times around the cathedral to try and avoid the gulls. - Credit: Chris Skipper

Mr Skipper, who has followed the peregrines for more than a decade, said it was not typical for the male bird to carry such a big prey item like pigeons. 

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He added: "With the gulls following he did a couple of loops of the cathedral. They were on him, they were screaming and wailing.

Norwich peregrine tries to avoid the gull

The incredible action shot taken by Chris Skipper at Norwich Cathedral of the peregrine trying to avoid giving up his meal to the hungry gull. - Credit: Chris Skipper

"It is a worry that every time he brings some food back, he has to face that. They're pirating off the peregrines for a meal." 

The couple, from Costessey, met through their mutual love of photographing the peregrines, which nest on the spire of the cathedral.

The male peregrine on its way back with its pigeon meal.

The male peregrine on its way back with its pigeon meal. - Credit: Chris Skipper

In 2019, Mr Skipper pulled off a proposal that will "go down in history" when he popped the question to his future wife on the cathedral bell tower as the pair were ringing the falcons.

The couple continue to monitor the peregrines who are due to welcome their newest chicks in the next few weeks.


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