GALLERY: What a catch - have you ever seen a cormorant land a fish quite this big?

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When retired photographer David Offord saw a cormorant catch a pike at a West Suffolk beauty spot, he never thought the bird would be able to swallow it whole.

But that’s just what happened and the vigilant snapper managed to get pictures of the whole thing.

A cormorant swallows a pike at Mickle Mere, near Ixworth - Pictures by David Offord ANL-150227-111545001

A cormorant swallows a pike at Mickle Mere, near Ixworth - Pictures by David Offord ANL-150227-111545001

Mr Offord, 70, who took the shots at Mickle Mere near Ixworth, said: “I never dreamed it could possibly swallow such a big fish

“Normally they catch all sorts of small fish but I’ve never seen one catch one that big. Pike are quite a ferocious fish.”

The retired photographer used to take pictures for the police in Essex for 10 years as well as for Ford and Aston Martin for 30 years.

He now enjoys taking wildlife photos while supplyling pictures to magazines and clients’ websites.

Mr Offord was born in Suffolk and retired to Old Newton four years ago.

He added: “I like it here. There are so many wildlife places around East Anglia.”

He also goes to Lackford Lakes and RSPB Reserves and has taken lots of shots of Kingfishers.