Pictures of the Month 2022


RIng Ouzel © Will Bowell,  Dogsthorpe, 22 January 2022

John W. Hoppett made this month's selection:

I liked the structure of the picture and the ability to capture the moment the bird was to be seen eating the Hawthorn berry. The feather definition is excellent and the definition of the feet gripping the bush. To me a great shot of a bird not normally seen in January.

It was however a close run thing with the Goosander in flight shot by Garth Peacock, which gave great definition against the sky and outlined the streamlined shape of this species in flight. Jonathan Heaths’ Yellow-browed Warbler pictures in early January show great expertise to photograph such a small warbler with such definition.

Some great pictures and a difficult decision.

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Marsh Harrier ©Neil Bramwell, Woodwalton Fen, 8th February 2022

Kevin Hand made his choice for February:

"A very high standard as always, so a difficult choice. I've gone for the male Marsh Harrier, by Neil Bramwell in the superb evening light over its reedbed home. Such clarity and rich colours, and one of my (many) favourite birds!

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Long-tailed Tit © Bob Steed, Fowlmere RSPB, 23rd March 2022

Ed King has made the March selection:  my runners-up from this month's selections were 3 wonderful photos of water birds: Simon Stirrup's evocative picture of 3 Spoonbills in flight; Steve Cooper's image capturing a Glossy Ibis's spectacular sheen; and George Walthew's beautifully sharp frame-filling photo of a Water Rail. My winner, based on its vibrant energy, is Bob Steed's flight shot of a Long-Tailed Tit with its wings fully extended and its mantle fluffed up in the breeze.

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Garaney © Neil Bramwell, Berry Fen, 22nd April 2022

Barbara York has chosen the April winner: I have chosen Neil Bramwell’s Garganey. Male Garganeys have been unusually showy this Spring but we are rarely able to appreciate the gorgeous leafy green on the secondaries. This photo allows us to do so at our leisure. Another couple of photos also caught my eye: James Hanlon’s Goosander mother with one of her offspring taking a ride;  a lovely composition with the colours on the bill and feet providing a pleasing balance, and Ian Dale’s Little Gull showing its complex monochrome wing pattern.

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Common Tern © Ian Dale, Dernford Reservoir 14th May 2022

Vince Lea has selected May's Photo of the Month:

The standard of photos submitted to the club's website continues to rise. There are two in the May selection which I think surpass images that the same photographers took of the same subjects and which made the top three from 2021: Ian Dale has captured a Common Tern with mirror-like reflection and the splash of the feeding dive frozen in time; you can clearly see the mayfly larva prey in the bill. George Walthew has caught an intimate moment in the life of a Water Rail family, with adult offering a tiny morsel of food to its fluffy black chick, and the dark feet of the chick can be seen intertwined with the larger pale foot of the adult. Ian Dale also captured with pin sharp resolution a singing Yellowhammer. It is hard to choose one from these three superb images but my choice is Ian's Common Tern.

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Marsh Harrier ©Ian Dale, Undisclosed Location 24th June 2022

Bob Mansfield has the June selection:

My chosen winner for June 2022 is the Marsh Harrier by Ian Dale, a series of 3 photos.

Flight photos are alway difficult to achieve and somewhat hit & miss but in particular photo 3 shows the flight feathers particularly well and the worn primaries against a non distracting neutral sky.

The light shows well in the yellow iris and the cere of the beak and the subtle browns of the plumage have been captured well.

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Blackcap ©Ed Gill, Fowlmere RSPB, 5th July 2022

Derek Turnidge has made this month's selection:

My choice is Blackcaps by Ed Gill. I liked the clarity and the composition, especially the fact that although all three birds are looking in the same direction they are in fact perched alternately forward and back on the branch.

The two closest in my view were Black-necked Grebe by Matthew Binns (clear red eye and interesting reflection) and Barn Swallow by Colin Brown (interesting variety of poses).Marsh Harrier ©Ian Dale, Undisclosed Location 24th June 2022

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Pied Flycatcher © Jon Heath, Cambridge, 24 August 2022

Vince Lea made this month's selection:

As ever, a fine selection of images was created by our intrepid photographers in August. James Hanlon’s Sparrowhawk mantling plucked prey on a parched lawn will be a reminder of what our summer looked like, Jonathon Stephenson’s squadron of Glossy Ibis speaks of the rapid change in status of that species and the many fine portraits of Cape Gull celebrate the amazing discovery of a first for Britain in our patch. Jon Heath’s fresh-plumaged Pied Flycatcher, however, is my choice on photographic quality; if it wasn’t for the out-of-focus branch in the background it would be a perfect illustration of this alert beauty.

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Common Redstart © Roger Hardie, Ouse Fen RSPB, 10 September 2022

Peter Herkenrath made this month's selection. 

As ever, the choice wasn't easy, given the multitude of amazing images. Close contenders were Neil Bramwell's preening Pectoral Sandpiper, perfect for a mystery bird image, and Jon Heath's picture of a very small-looking Pectoral Sandpiper next to a surprisingly huge Ruff.  

Well, I go for the Common Redstart, a bird that I always enjoy seeing on migration, sometimes being puzzled whether it is indeed a Common or a rather pale Black, when no rufous colours are visible.

The picture not only shows the discrete beauty of an autumn Common Redstart, not wearing the well-known and much admired male breeding plumage, but there is also some kind of interaction with the wasp flying past and I can't help but think, 'what does he (I guess this is a male bird) think of the wasp?' Does he view the little insect as a prey or is he just curious, even afraid?


Long-tailed Tit © Neil Bramwell, Cambourne, 8 October 2022

Rachel Lowry has made the selection for October:

I have chosen Neil Bramwell’s Long-tailed Tit as the photo of the month for October. These delightful small birds are always on the move so notoriously difficult to capture. The perfect vertical position of the bird against the matching colour of the background I think lifts this photograph into art. I also loved Ian Dale’s photo of the Little Egret with its perfect position of the fish mid air as its being eaten. Finally Neil Bramwell’s photo of the diving Short-eared Owl stood out from the many brilliant photos I’ve seen of this bird, showing the intense focus of the bird on its prey as it dives towards the ground.


Spoonbill © Garth Peacock, Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB,  16 November 2022

Roger Hardie has made the latest selection:

"My choice is Garth Peacock’s image of an immature Spoonbill trying on a Cormorant’s wings for size. A couple of inches to the left and it would have been a perfect fit! Spoonbills are a rare sight in the county; perhaps this individual is one of a trio of young Spoonbills that overwintered at Kingfisher’s bridge and seem to have been doing the rounds of local sites throughout the year.

Other notable images this month included photos of two other species on the increase in the county, both captured in flight in sharp focus with uncluttered backgrounds: Simon Stirrup’s shot of a Cattle Egret and James Hanlon’s picture of two Cranes over Manea"


Yellowhammer © Roger Hardie, Barton, 13 December 2022

David Nation chose December's bird.

"My choice for photo of the month was the Yellowhammer by Roger Hardie, one of my favourite garden birds.

It was a lovely combination of frosty foliage and warm yellow that appealed to me. I thought the shot was captured nicely with the bird facing forward looking rather regal.

Other photos I liked were Garth Peacock's Grey Phalarope feeding, nice reflection and a fantastic bird. The Kestrel, also by Roger Hardie, has a rather perplexed pose which I liked as well."