Cambridgeshire Bird Club
     

Pictures of the Month for 2010

Wren

Picture of the month for January:

Wren, RSPB Fowlmere, 11th January 2010
© Gary Thornton  
Picture chosen by Darren Oakley-Martin
"Jonathan Taylor's wonderfully characterful Stonechat, Mark Hawkes' almost comedic Robin with a sense of time and place, Nigel Sprowell's hugely evocative Mute Swans and , again, oustanding pictures from Garth Peacock, all of which have their own special qualities, after much consideration and many changes of mind, Gary Thornton's Wren gets my vote. A beautiful portrait that serves as a timely reminder of the vulnerability of our small birds to the recent freezing conditions, but also a testimony to their resilience."


Waxwing

Picture of the month for March:

Waxwing, Cambridge,
15th March 2010 © Trevor Sawyer
Picture chosen by Peter Herkenrath
"With 48 images to choose from, this wasn't an easy task. Several photos made it into my top ten or so, with many others only just 'failing'. There were several stunning Waxwing images, Gary Thornton's Robin, Nigel Sprowell's Chiffchaff, Stuart Elsom's Yellowhammer, Colin Brown's flying Wigeon and his Barn Owl and Simon Ansell's flying Bittern. Marginally outstanding to me is Trevor Sawyer's portrait of a Waxwing in Cambridge from 15th March, with the tongue seeming to taste the berry - amazing. The quality of images submitted to the Club's photo blog is fantastic and as the Club's new Chairman I would like to thank all photographers for their impressive contributions.
Congratulations Trevor"


Marsh Harrier

Picture of the month for May:

Marsh Harrier, Fowlmere RSPB
28th May 2010 © Gary Thornton
Picture chosen by John Parslow
"Eighty-odd to choose from and some fine close-up portraits. But for me the images that linger are those that show or hint at the wider landscapes the birds find themselves in. So which one to hang on the wall? Jamie Wells' joyful Sedge Warbler with its colourful background of blossom? James Hanlon's striking arable scene (but what a pity that second Grey Partridge popped its head up to spoil the composition)? No, top marks go to Gary Thornton's backlit Marsh Harrier - heavily cropped perhaps but producing an image reminiscent of a John Reaney pastel."


Red Kite

Picture of the month for July:

Red Kite, Fowlmere area
2 July 2010 © Simon Ansell
Picture chosen by Suzanne Harwood
"It was very difficult to pick just one photograph, as the standard was so high. The Water Rail by Gary Thornton was a wonderful example of an elusive and secretive bird, however, what convinced me to pick this photograph of a Red Kite by Simon Ansell, was the excellent angle of the shot, as the bird has clearly sighted its next meal. The Red Kite is a natural aerial acrobat and this picture is a stunning example of an in-flight turn but still capturing superb detail of the spread of his primary feathers in full use during his flight."


White-winged Black Tern

Picture of the month for September:

White-winged Black Tern, Grafham Water
22 September 2010 ©Matthew Rodgers
Picture chosen by Mark Welch
"Winter-plumaged or juvenile terns may not be very glamorous, but they can be challenging. Matthew Rodgers' shot of the juvenile/1st winter WWBT at Grafham Water shows diagnostic wing, head, upperpart and (pale) rump details. This bird was with the huge flock of 200+ Black Terns at Grafham Water in September, and as such is a nice record of that momentous event. Well done to Matthew for spotting the one among the many."


Long-tailed Duck

Picture of the month for November:

Long-tailed Duck, Fen Drayton Lakes
26 November © Garth Peacock
Picture chosen by Vince Lea
"An overcast November didn't produce a huge number of photos to choose from, and clearly some were taken in difficult conditions. Richard Patient's images from Woodwalton Fen could hardly qualify for photo of the month, but nonetheless record a terrific day with Arctic Redpoll, Siberian Chiffchaff and Ring Ouzel. The Waxwing invasion provided opportunities for more impressive images, often being obliging for photography. Unfortunately they tended to be set in rather cluttered backgrounds reducing their artistic appeal. I enjoyed Adrian George's sunset at Fen Drayton, with a Grey Heron flapping across the sun's reflection; if the image of the bird were larger it would certainly have been my pick, a wonderfully composed skyscape. Garth Peacock and James Hanlon both produced some impressive portraits, James's Goldcrest was particularly characterful, but for me the Fen Drayton Long-tailed Duck by Garth was the winner. The image of the bird facing the camera with droplets of water reflecting sunlight off its back was particularly impressive. Well done on finding a day with a bit of blue sky reflecting off calm water!"



Rook

Picture of the month for February:

Common Rook, Grafham Water,
5th February 2010 © Garth Peacock
Picture chosen by Dick Newell
"As this is the last month of my 5-year chairmanship of CBC, I decided that I would choose the February photo. It has proved near impossible to find a clear winner. First I thought Stephanie James' Starling, that's it! Then I came to Trevor Sawyer's Sparrowhawk, but I have to turn away from pictures like that, then Nigel Sprowell's Snipe, fabulous. There follows an array of terrific portraits, one of which particularly took my fancy: Garth Peacock's Rook"


Buzzard

Picture of the month for April:

Common Buzzard, Diddington,
18th April 2010 © Stuart Elsom 
Picture chosen by Bob Humphrey
"What a difficult choice! There had to be a winner but there were certainly no losers. In the end Stuart Elsom's Common Buzzard edged it for me. This fine study of a species becoming increasing common across the county"


Reed Bunting

Picture of the month for June:

Male Reed Bunting, Nene Washes,
6th June 2010 © Peter Beesley
Picture chosen by Richard Thomas
"There are many photographs that I find quite outstanding. A superb overhead Sand Martin by James Hanlon, his pin-sharp Little Ringed Plover in flight, Colin Brown's portrait of a juvenile Whitethroat, the near perfect composition of Garth Peacock's Yellowhammer, Gary Thornton's action shots of Common Terns and his Corn Bunting on a favoured perch, Peter Beesley's classic Redshank atop a post, resplendent in full summer plumage.
These are all more than worthy runners up, but the photo that just pips them for me is Peter Beesley's doleful Reed Bunting; pin-sharp, showing excellent feather detail and perched on a barbed wire strand. Buntings are one of my favourites, although many write them off as LBJs; but as this photo shows, when seen well, they can be rather handsome."


Lesser Whitethroat

Picture of the month for August:

Lesser Whitethroat, Fen Drayton Lakes,
3 August 2010 ©Garth Peacock
Picture chosen by David Heath
"What August lacked in quantity it certainly made up for in the quality of the photographs submitted, making the task of selecting just one as challenging as ever. Included within the images were a fascinating and historical series of shots by Jonathan Taylor of Common Cranes at the Nene Washes being the first breeding of the species in Cambridgeshire in modern times.Other images that caught my eye were the Turtle Dove at Fowlmere RSPB by Gary Thornton, the Kestrel at Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB by Colin Brown and the Yellow Wagtail at Fowlmere again by Gary Thornton, all well composed photographs. But, as they say, there can only be one winner and the photograph I have selected for the August 2010 picture of the month is the Lesser Whitethroat taken on 3rd August 2010 at Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB by Garth Peacock. Garth has managed to catch the character of the bird to perfection, crisply focused with fine feather detail and beautifully framed by the surrounding foliage."


Coot

Picture of the month for October:

Coot, Ferry Meadows
20 October 2010 ©Peter Beesleyp
Picture chosen by Michael Holdsworthp
"Is a month with fewer photos than usual a more difficult month to judge? As a ringer quite incapable of taking a good photo of a bird in the hand, I never cease to be amazed at technical challenges mastered in the Gallery every month! So what to pick - demanding flight shot, or feather-perfect portrait? Garden bird or rarity? Technical excellence or arty atmosphere? I loved the seasonal Stonechat portraits, and the snatched Buzzards and the Sparrowhawk, but my October pick has to be Peter Beesley's painterly (evening?) Coot. If this had been in oils or acrylics, say by Chris Rose, would we have quite believed those evocative water patterns to be real?"


Stonechat

Picture of the month for December:

Stonechat, Fen Drayton Lakes
19 December 2010 © Nigel Sprowell
Picture chosen by Jacqui Miller
"With 59 photos to choose from this month, it was very hard to select just one. Five particularly caught my eye – Gary Thornton’s reed bunting, Garth Peacock’s goldeneye and bittern, Nigel Sprowell’s stonechat and Shaun Sowden’s waxwing amongst berries. In the end I narrowed it down to the stonechat and the waxwing. I liked the way the colours of the wings and the spread tail of the waxwing are displayed against the berries, and the other birds, whilst obscuring the main bird a little, portray the bustle of a feeding flock. The stonechat portrait is a lovely composition and I also thought this bird, with its fluffed up feathers amid the dusting of snow, represented both the beauty and the trials of the December weather. For these reasons, (and not because it was taken at Fen Drayton, honest!) I have chosen this to be photo of the month."

 


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