Pictures of the Month 2023
Little Grebe © Roger Cresswell, Wicken Fen, 20 February 2023
"My choice for February's bird of the month has to be Roger Cresswell's Little Grebe with a predated newt in its beak. A beautifully sharp picture capturing even the newt in detail. I must admit I also liked Tracy Graves Moorhen with its mirror- image reflected in the still water with even the reflection nicely sharp."
Great White Egret © Caroline Baker, Fowlmere RSPB, 2 March 2023
A great selection of photos and each had something that would make it deserving of photo of the month. However, after some deliberation I selected the Great White Egret photo by Caroline Baker. This photo elegantly captures the bird in flight and is perfectly in focus, but what really stood out is the use of light. The angle of the bird catches the sun, illuminating it beautifully against the blurred muted background. Well done Caroline – a fabulous shot.
I also particularly liked the quartet of Whooper Swans. The composition is brilliant but the lighting of Caroline’s photo just edged it.
Sand Martin © Cookie Shorten, Dernford Reservoir, 20 June 2023
Steve Cutting chose June's Photo of the Month
"I liked Nigel Sprowell’s Tawny Owls, especially the one looking downwards. It looked more like it was prepared for action. The others were technically perfect but looked a bit staged. Simon Stirrup’s Night Herons were impressive. Wow! Getting not one but three Night Herons in shot, and in flight. I preferred the second image, where the wings of all three birds are in different positions. Nice evening light, I presume. I love the first image of Cookie Shorten’s Sand Martin, with the bird on the left, and the shingle. It’s just more appealing to show the bird in its environment, plus looking cute, and in sharp focus. There are some really first-rate images here, but if I have to choose one, it’s the Sand Martin. It’s the one I'd be most pleased to have taken. It's clear, in focus, and the off-centre bird on the shingle makes for a picture you can keep coming back to. Lovely.
House Sparrow © Chris Thompson, Fentstanton, 12 August 20232
Stu Butchart chose this month's picture: "There are several reasons why an image can jump out as being particularly noteworthy: beautiful composition, attractive lighting, capturing a split-second moment, illustrating an interesting behaviour or a simply a creative take on a familiar sight. But Chris Thompson’s House Sparrow leapt out at me because the plumage is so striking. We are all used to seeing birds with aberrant plumages, and partial albinism - when an individual has some or many white feathers – is quite common. But it is rare to see a pure albino, complete with pink eye and bare parts. Chris captured this unusual individual in a very pleasing and eye-catching image. I also enjoyed Cookie Shorten’s images of Black-tailed Godwit in breeding plumage and a calling Wood Sandpiper: passage waders are always pleasing!
Mallard © Tracey Graves, Milton GP, 11 October 2023
Peter Bircham chose October's Picture of the Month:
"While I am not a gull person I think the photos this month are very good and helpful to people who find gull identification more difficult. Joanna Kubica's Whooper Swans are so evocative of the arrival of winter and no birder can surely tire of photos of owls, any owls, and Neil Bramwell is an expert at finding and photographing them. But for me the photo of the month has to be Tracey Graves' female Mallard bathing. A dull bird 'tis true, but the showering droplets of water are frozen by the photo in a moment the human eye would not quite capture and the whole image is simple but unusual.