By Ted Thornhill
Foiled: The seagull scoops the chick out of the water, but drops it when the mother swoops in
A murderous seagull that gobbled up a duckling got more than it bargained for when it returned for another helping.
It swooped on the ducklings as they swam with their parents in Herbert Park, Dublin, last week.
But the mother duck, who initially had eleven ducklings in tow, finally forced the gull away by aggressively flapping her wings.
Brave: The fearless mother is not deterred by the seagull's size advantage
In a flap: The angry mother proved she was no sitting duck and chased the attacker away
Taking flight: The seagull is in no mood to hang around
Photographer Paul Hughes said: ‘I was taking pictures in the park and saw this gull watching the young family.
‘This is the time of year ducks raise their young, so predatory birds like gulls are always on the look out for an easy meal.
‘The gull was waiting for one of the ducklings to stray from the group and when it finally spotted one it swooped in for the kill.
Murder most fowl: The seagull successfully securing a first course
‘The gull was able to grab hold of a duckling in its beak.
‘But when it came back for a second helping mum was ready and fought the gull away until it had to turn tail and fly off.
‘The chick ducked under the water. There was a lot of quacking and squawking going on.
‘It was a stressful moment for the mother, but in the end she saved her family.’
Happy family: The ducklings with their protective mother