Photographer captures epic battle between peregrine falcon and gull over Norwich
- Credit: Archant
A photographer captured an epic battle over food between a peregrine and a gull over the skies of Norfolk.
Chris Skipper was at Norwich cathedral with his girlfriend Kim when they heard a commotion.
The 'white van man' said: 'On looking up we saw a lesser black backed gull pursuing the female peregrine around the spire. The reason was because the peregrine had some prey in her talons.
'It is not unusual to see gulls chasing the peregrines back to the spire if the peregrines have a kill as they will try to pirate the prey as an easy meal, but they will usually back off as the peregrines get closer to the cathedral.
'The gulls know full well that a peregrine can kill them if the peregrine gets the higher ground, the peregrine will stoop onto the gull especially when they have eggs or chicks on the platform.
'This is something I have witnessed on numerous occasions. This time though, a juvenile gull, who has probably never had an encounter with a peregrine, decided to chase the falcon back to the spire. The gull chased the peregrine around the spire several times and even grabbed at its tail feathers to force her to drop the food.
'The grabbing of tail feathers is something I have never witnessed on a peregrine so that was quite exciting to see.
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'The female peregrine did turn onto the gull a few times but I guess the inexperienced gull didn't know the danger it was in.
'Eventually the peregrine landed on the north-west turret and covered her prey with her wings. The gull finally got the idea and flew away leaving the peregrine to enjoy its snack.'
Mr Skipper has also been involved in getting a camera up to the top of Cromer's 160ft-tall church tower and into a nesting box.
A pair of peregrine falcons have taken up residence on the top of the tower, attracting a flock of a bird watchers waiting with bated breath to see if they will breed.
People can keep to date with the Norwich peregrine falcons by visiting Mr Skipper's twitter feed at //twitter.com/peregrineskip