Artist’s painting captures one of Ely Cathedral’s resident peregrines

PUBLISHED: 15:05 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:15 26 August 2020

Artist Graham Austin created a painting of the Ely Cathedral's peregrine falcons. Postcards of the painting are available to purchase in the cathedral gift shop. Image: Graham Austin

Artist Graham Austin created a painting of the Ely Cathedral's peregrine falcons. Postcards of the painting are available to purchase in the cathedral gift shop. Image: Graham Austin

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An artist has captured one of the peregrine falcons at Ely Cathedral in a stunning painting.

Two peregrines have sent up home at Ely Cathedral. Image: prc-photographyTwo peregrines have sent up home at Ely Cathedral. Image: prc-photography

Graham Austin, a wildlife and aviation painter, has produced postcard of the piece and donated them to the cathedral gift shop.

He said: “Peregrines are not birds I have painted before and I really enjoyed working on the piece.

“The most challenging part of the project was actually capturing the masonry and the gargoyles.

“Many artists struggle with this but even so I’m really pleased with the finished painting.”

Visitors have been flocking to Ely Cathedral this summer to try and catch a glimpse of the peregrine falcons which have set up home in the tower. Photo Credit Simon StirrupVisitors have been flocking to Ely Cathedral this summer to try and catch a glimpse of the peregrine falcons which have set up home in the tower. Photo Credit Simon Stirrup

The artwork took around a month to complete from start to finish.

It is now one of many pieces Graham has produced in his 50 years of painting wildlife and aviation.

His subjects range from game and owls to Second World War aeroplanes.

Earlier this summer, it was revealed a pair of peregrines had set up their home at Ely Cathedral.

Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire. Picture: PA Archive/PA ImagesEly Cathedral in Cambridgeshire. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

Since then, visitors have flocked to the landmark to try and catch a glimpse of these stunning bird of prey in action.

Graham, who also helps at the cathedral, added: “There’s been a lot of interest in them and people have travelled for miles to try and see them.

“They seem to be quite happy where they are, so I think they’re here to stay.”

Peregrines usually nest on rocky cliff edges, and their young eggs resting precariously without any nesting material to protect and support them.

But more seem to be moving into more rural areas and are settling in industrial buildings, high-rise buildings and historical landmarks such as churches.

Peregrines are now protected by laws which are reinforced by European legislation known as the Nature Directives.

Visitors to Ely Cathedral have been asked to refrain from flying drones in the area because it will disturb the birds.

• For those interested in buying the postcards of Graham’s painting, it is possible to visit the Ely Cathedral gift shop without paying the entrance fee.


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