Well over 1,500 photographs were entered into this competition from around the globe. We have seen everything from kingfishers, bald eagles, puffins, peacocks, and everything in between, and the quality has been stunning.
The winning entry by Ravi Parvatharaju from Essex, England was of a family of Kingfishers feeding its newly fledged baby entitled “Moment of magic – Kingfisher feeding its newly fledged baby”.
It was organised in aid of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who benefitted to the tune of £2,120.61 from the minimum donation of £1 per entry.
Ravi says ‘’ I took this picture at RSPB Rye Meads nature reserve in Hertfordshire. I visit this reserve regularly – it is a great place to watch and photograph birds. Kingfishers breed in a nest bank there and every year, a pair of them raise 2-3 broods successfully. The kingfisher chicks had fledged that morning and I was photographing the action from the public hide. The fledglings were mostly hidden in the bushes and their parents were taking fish to them. Suddenly, 2 fledglings came out of the bushes and landed on a perch in front of the hide. I started taking pictures of the fledglings when to my surprise and joy, the adult male (their father) landed on the same perch between his babies with a fish. Both the chicks started opening their mouths wanting to be fed. I got this picture as he was passing the fish into the mouth of one of the babies and the other chick had its mouth still open. It was, and remains to this day, truly a moment of magic for me and an unforgettable wildlife experience which I cherish.
I have a large canvas print of this picture, a personal favourite of mine, hanging in my living room. I am so glad my favourite picture was chosen as the winning image! Thank you.
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV DSLR Lens: Canon EF 500mm F4.5L (non-IS) lens + Canon 1.4 X extender. Aperture: f 9, Shutter speed:1/640 sec, ISO: 1250. Lens and extender combination were supported on a bean bag placed in the hide window.’’
Mike McNamee ‘’Our judges were presented with anonymised images and I left them to make their choices over a couple of weeks, without interference – they are after all specialists in their subject, having photographed birds all over the world for many years! I made my judge’s choice independently. I liked the situation shown for we can be assured that we are looking at good fieldcraft rather than a visitation to a commercially set up hide and habituated birds.’’
As might be expected we had a hard time in deciding the winner and deciding the positioning of the top five images. The photographers’ experience and photographic skills are improving year on year so determining the top 20 images was not a difficult task; but deciding the top 10 and then the top five did indeed prove very difficult indeed. Having said that a decision had to be made and our congratulations go out to our worthy winners as well as our admiration for all these commended images on display.
2nd place was awarded to Kevin Nash from Cheshire, England and 3rd place was awarded to Robin Claydon from Hertfordshire, England both winning a great range of prizes. Images open in light box.
There were also over 120 Highly Commended images – https://sinwp.com/bird/hc-2020.htm
Check out these great open to all Photographic Competition on their blog