Dunnock, Woodwalton Fen, 18th December 2017 © Thomas Reed
Roger Cresswell made this month's selection:
"There was a fine selection of photographs, as usual, for December. Plenty of great shots of the Hawfinches at Wimpole Hall, and also of winter Thrushes. I liked Garth Peacock's selection of garden birds in the snow, any one of which would make a beautiful seasonal greeting card. George Walthew showed us a specimen image of a Water Rail, and there were great pictures of Red Kites by Gary Thornton. My choice of photo of the month is of a Dunnock by Thomas Reed, the lighting so subtle and the image beautifully composed."
Redshank, Wicken Fen, 17th November 2017 © Garth Peacock
Geoff Harries made this month's selection:
"The images posted on the Cambridge bird club site are always consistently of high quality. I liked several of Neil Bramwell’s images, including the Barn Owl in-flight shot, not easy to capture in fading light. There were also a number of excellent images from Thomas Reed including the Marsh Tit and Fieldfare. But Garth’s action images in golden light of the Wigeon and Redshank stood out for me. My choice is Garth’s Redshank for picture of the month."
Great White Egret, Wicken Fen, 3rd October 2017 © Roger Cresswell
Neil Bramwell made this month's selection:
"This October was a very different month than October last year. Once again I have been very impressed with the quality of some of the pictures in the gallery.
At the beginning of the month I liked James Hanlon’s Hobby pictures. They are sharp, nicely composed and rich in detail. Later in the month, Thomas Reed’s picture of the water rail similarly impressed particularly with the way the image captured the bird and its environment.
However, my choice for picture of the month is Roger Cresswell’s Great White Egret. The shot is nicely exposed which is not easy with an all white bird and also he has captured the action with an appropriate shutter speed which is never easy in October as the light fades."
Leach's Storm Petrel, Grafham Water, 17th September 2017 © Simon Stirrup
Jonathan Taylor made this month's selection:
"Capturing the stormy mood for September the best photograph is split between James Hanlon’s series of Manx Shearwater shots that showed really well off the dam at Grafham Water before surprisingly flying off in daylight, followed by the Leach’s Petrel at the same seabird capital. A species which for me is the most graceful of all seabirds whose life is the juxtaposition between agile oceanic wanderer and one of constant peril! Relying normally on the nocturnal hours to carry out its movements, Neil Bramwell captured it attracting the attention of a passing Yellow-legged Gull whose intentions could be mistakenly interpreted as playful. Simon Stirrup's photo is my choice though, with a curious Pied Wagtail tagging the petrel – proving its' novelty to the resident birds and not just the visiting birders."
Sparrowhawk, private garden, St.Ives, 11th August 2017 © Nigel Sprowell
Jon Heath made this month's selection:
"August can be an exciting time for bird photography in Cambridgeshire. At this time of year there is always plenty of migrants passing through the county, and with this brings the chance of something rare such as Richard Patient’s White-winged Black Tern. The images I particularly liked this month included Gary Thornton’s sharp portrait of a Kingfisher, Matthew Mellor’s nice set of a Black Tern and Richard Patient’s unusual photo of a Turnstone dwarfed by a massive dead pike. However, my choice for photo of the month is Nigel Sprowell’s Sparrowhawk (lower image). I thought the image was framed very well with the Sparrowhawk showing an elegant straight posture and menacingly looking over its shoulder, revealing its bright yellow eye against a dark background."
Red Kite, Undisclosed site, 21st July 2017 © Gary Thornton
James Hanlon made this month's selection.
"As always a very difficult choice. As would be expected at this time of year, young birds feature prominently, partly because their inexperience often renders them so much more approachable than their parents. Among those pictures that caught my eye are Phil Smith’s fishing great egret gracefully arcing its neck over in a narcissistic-esque pose; Roger Cresswell’s moulting ruff, and Tony Martin’s outrageous waders from his garden scrape that include both a phalarope and the local stilt family (and both in one picture). However I’m particularly drawn to Gary Thornton’s beautifully portrayed red kites – a bird I always enjoy seeing - and rather like the wing-stretching juvenile as its sibling looks on, so this is my choice."
Black-winged Stilt, Ouse Washes RSPB, 18th June 2017 © Richard Patient
Garth Peacock made this month's selection.
"June is always one of the quieter months for birding generally and especially for photography. Nevertheless, there still remains opportunities to create that one memorable shot.
Several images caught my eye - Neil Bramwell's Little Owls, Gary Thornton's Red Kites and back-lit Little Owl, and not forgetting Thomas Reed's juvenile Turtle Dove. However, the one shot that stayed in my memory after posting was Richard Patient's image of a Black-winged Stilt tending it's eggs on the nest. The rarity of the occasion together with the problems of achieving a sharp image at distance make this a worthy winner of photo of the month. Congratulations Richard."
Red-footed Falcon, Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB, 6th May 2017 ©Neil Bramwell
Tom Reed made this month's selection.
"I always enjoy looking at all the photos in the gallery, every single one has something to offer especially the passage migrants that May brings. There are always five or six standout images like Garth Peacock's picture perfect Corn Bunting. I liked Nigel Sprowell's sequence of Insect plus Hobby shots, Neil Bramwell's delightful Garganey. Steven Swain's Turtle Dove captures the wary look of this always nervous bird. Looking carefully at John Chance's Bittern, head pointing skyward you can just see it's pupil looking downward waiting to make a strike for its next meal. One of the best photos I have seen of this species. However every month there is always an exceptional photo and for me this month it's Neil Bramwell's perched female Red-footed Falcon, chosen for its rarity value and its photogenic properties."
Common Tern, Paxton Pits, 19th April 2017 © Garth Peacock
Simon Stirrup and his son made this month's selection.
"The task of picking ‘photo of the month’ for April was enjoyable, but more difficult than expected. I filtered out the record shots and those images which were too tightly cropped for my taste, but was still left with quite a selection. I was impressed with Roger Cresswell’s Hobby, Brian Wallace’s Tufted Duck on an extraordinary reflection and Brendan Doe’s almost monochrome Spoonbill. My son had a look too. After I had refused to tell him which was the rarest bird, and with no knowledge of the photographers, he picked Garth Peacock’s dramatic Common Tern and reflection which had also caught my eye."
Great Crested Grebe, Waterbeach, 7th March 2017 © Simon Stirrup
Gary Thornton has made this month's selection.
"Well what a great time for birding and taking photos, and seeing the first migrants arriving. Choosing a winning photo was always going to be tricky with so many good photographers out there, but there are always going to be a few that shine through. I particularly liked Bob Steed and Roger Cresswell's colourful Grey Wagtail photos, Phil Smith's Marsh Tit, and the very atmospheric shot of Garth Peacock's Great Crested Grebe. Also I really liked Doug Radford's Raven shot....it's great to have a pair in the county. The two I struggled to choose between were Brendan Doe's Whooper Swans and and Simon Stirrup's courting Great Crested Grebes. I loved the movement and texture of Brendan Doe's Whooper Swans, they reminded me of synchronised swimmers! Alongside that image was Simon's beautifully exposed, colourful and pin sharp image of the grebes. It was a really tough decision. In the end I decided the winner for March is Simon Stirrup's courting Great Crested Grebes. Congratulations Simon."
Waxwing, Cambridge, 7th February 2017 © Matt Walton
Brendan Doe has made this month's selection.
"I've taken a good look through the gallery and as usual there were many high quality photos on offer for February, captured from all corners of Cambs. Simon Stirrups Buzzard flight shot and pin sharp Blue Tit. Phil Smiths Cormorant at nest and Geoff Harris's series of one of our rarer winter visitors Great Grey Shrike all caught the eye. The usual high quality photos from Garth Peacock of an increasingly abundant Cambs visitor, Great White Egret and a very evocative Red Kite from Ian Dawson. However I felt that I couldn't look behind a bird that is sure to brighten up even the dullest winter's day, that of course being Waxwing. The question is which one? Being relatively approachable and therefore affording good photo opportunities I was looking for something slightly different. I have therefore decided to give my vote to Matt Walton for his open wing shot of one of the long staying Milton guided busway Waxwings. The photo demonstrates very well the lovely waxy tips and to boot the bird is about to consume a berry. Well done Matt."
Glaucous Gull, Cambridge Research Park, 21st January 2017 © Simon Stirrup
Nigel Sprowell has made this month's selection.
"What a cracking start to 2017, with 80 photos to choose from and with so many quality images selection has, as ever, been a challenge. I loved the sharp set of images by Thomas Reed, especially the Tree Sparrow. The three Kingfisher images by Roger Cresswell were stunning, and I was very sorely tempted by James Hanlon’s wonderfully composed photo of a Mute Swan on the mirror of ice, absolutely beautiful. However, after much deliberation I have chosen something I cannot recall featuring as a photo of the month before – a gull, in particular a Glaucous Gull, of which there have been many fine specimens this month. Not a particularly charismatic bird, but I was drawn to the pin sharp series of images by Simon Stirrup in particular the almost perfect mirrored image of the bird showing its’ fearsome gape regurgitating its’ meal. Congratulations."