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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

That's a slippery supper! Cormorant battles with eel as it wraps itself round the bird's beak in vain attempt to avoid being eaten

By Rob Cooper

Eels on wheels! The cormorant tries to snatch its slippery supper just off the beach in Lyme Regis, West Dorset

Wriggling for dear life, this tricky eel battles valiantly to avoid being swallowed by a hungry cormorant.

But after wrapping itself around the predator's beak in a desperate bid to escape, the bird finally gets its way and flicks the meal into the air ready to swallow it whole.

A seagull dives in and tries to snatch the meal away - but the plucky cormorant finally gets its supper.

Wriggling free: The eel tries to escape the jaws of the cormorant as it tries to get away with its life - and avoid becoming dinner

The dramatic set of images were caught on camera at Lyme Regis, in West Dorset, in grim weather conditions.

Underwater birds, found along the English Coast, dine on eels, water snakes and whatever fish they can catch.

The cormorant was able to snatch this slippery meal despite the sea being so murky it would scarcely have been able to see its prey.

The images were captured by Dorset-based photographer Richard Austin.

Desperate bid: The eel wraps itself around the cormorant's face as it tries to escape - before finally being swallowed

Captured: The cormorant opens its jaw and tries to tip the resistant eel into its mouth before it can escape

Preparing to swallow: The cormorant flicks the eel off its beak and clamps his jaws shut to capture it

Snatched: The meal finally disappears down the cormorant's throat as he wins the battle to swallow it



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