Cambridgeshire Bird Club

Pictures of the Month for 2014

Male Shovler

Picture of the month for January
Male Shoveler, Dunkirk
5th January 2014 ©Tony Martin
Picture chosen by Gavin Paterson
"As usual there was a diverse range of excellent photographs to enjoy which made it extremely difficult to choose a winner. I picked Tony Martin’s feeding drake Shoveler. I enjoy how the light shows off, not just the bottle green brilliance of the drake’s head, but also its iridescence and how different it can look depending on the light, being almost black in some places. I also love that vibrant yellow iris. It’s also wonderful how the photograph has captured intimately, and in perfect still, that characteristic feeding pose and even allows you to see the lamellae along the edge of the bill used for filtering out food from the water. Not something that is easy to see in the field."

Bearded Tit

Picture of the month for March
Bearded Tit, Ouse Fen RSPB
30th March 2014 ©Matthew Mellor
Malcolm Housden, our runner-up from the 2013 photo of the year, has chosen the photo of the month for March.

"I have chosen Matthew Mellor’s Bearded Tit, 30th March; a nice sharp image with good detail, some may find the reeds over the body are off putting but I feel it shows the bird in it’s natural habitat. I also liked Neil Bramwell’s Barn Owl and Gary Thornton’s Kestrel images, both well lit and perfect timing."


Picture of the month for May
Coot, Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB
16th May 2014 ©Garth Peacock
Chris Quy, our webmaster, has made this months selection.

"As usual, the photographs in the club’s gallery are all very good. I particularly like the detail in Garth Peacock’s Yellowhammer close-up, Roger Cresswell’s Buzzard with the light coming through its primaries and Neil Bramwell’s flying Common Whitethroat but in the end I chose Garth’s Coot, with its reflection nearly as defined as the bird itself."


Picture of the month for July
Jackdaw, Melbourn
6th July 2014 ©Malcolm Housden
Robin Restall has made this months selection.

"My passion with birds is behavioural detail, and plumage detail. The combination of these two dimensions in looking at and admiring the July photographs brought me to the Jackdaws, parent feeding fledgling. The details of the feathering and textures of the plumage had me enthralled, the shot(s) capturing remarkable detail. Recording the act of an adult feeding a young bird is hardly original, but getting as much into the shot as there is here is once again about as perfect as one could hope for."
Meadow Pipit

Picture of the month for September
Meadow Pipit, Grafham Water
29th September 2014 ©Garth Peacock
Tony Martin has made this months selection.

"In a large field covering almost 50 species, my choice is Garth Peacock's calling Meadow Pipit. Flicking through the many images submitted, it's the one I always paused on to enjoy another look. You can almost hear the call of this perfectly plumaged, beautifully lit bird, and the splash of bright colour from the lichen completes the delightful picture. As ever with Garth's work, the photo is technically superb and pin sharp. Three other images stood out for me - the bathing pipit and ethereal Great Crested Grebe (also by Garth) and Nigel Sprowell's perching Reed Bunting, nicely complemented by the purple Phragmites seed head. Oh, to be able to read the ring number!"

Ringtail Hen Harrier

Picture of the month for November
Ringtail Hen Harrier, Burwell Fen
24th November 2014 ©Neil Bramwell
Tony Mallyon has made this months selection.

"This was not an easy task as there were some very good shots of Whooper swan, Short-eared Owls, not to mention Rough-legged Buzzard. In the end I chose Neil Bramwell’s Ringtail Hen Harrier at Burwell Fen on 24th November. Neil managed to catch it in good light, with wings outstretched as it hovered while searching out its next prey."



Picture of the month for February
Treecreeper, Fowlmere Village
27th February 2014 ©Gary Thornton
Neil Bramwell, the winner of our 2013 Photo of the Year, has chosen February's Photo of the Month.
"My photograph of the month for February is the Treecreeper taken by Gary Thornton on 27th February. I have chosen a picture I would have liked to have taken myself. I have tried to take pictures of Treecreepers, but they hop around the tree so quickly it is not easy. The sharpness of this picture revealing its soon to be eaten lunch is excellent. I also particularly liked the Short-eared Owl (Peter Beesley) and the Bittern (Kevin Robson) mainly for the "Wow!" factor."


Picture of the month for April
Sparrowhawk, St. Ives
27th April2014 ©Nigel Sprowell
Roger Swain, our new treasurer, has made this months selection.

"I was tempted to choose Gary Thornton's brilliant male bullfinch just because I love this bird. Then there was Garth Peacock's beautifully composed & even more exotically coloured goldfinch sat atop soft green leaves and pink blossom. But by way of complete contrast, beast has trumped beauty in my winner......Nigel Sprowell's male sparrow hawk. This is surely nature at its most raw and Nigel has captured the very moment this imperious raptor swallows its hapless prey. The protruding foot is the final gruesome touch. It should come with an X certificate!"


Picture of the month for June
Sparrowhawk, Alconbury
17th June 2014 ©Peter Rowlings
Roger Buisson has made this months selection.

"I was looking to make my choice based on a picture that had the right technical qualities (in focus, well exposed, visible eye, good composition and sharp without being over sharpened post-processing) AND showed an interesting aspect of bird behaviour. This would mean that a well executed portrait would not be my choice. In to my shortlist went Garth Peacock's house sparrow family, Brian Wallace's scratching carrion crow and Tony Martin's hovering common tern but Peter Rowlings' male sparrowhawk with prey was my choice. Sparrowhawks are quintessential hunters - that is not beetroot juice dripping from its beak.."

Sand Martin

Picture of the month for August
Sand Martin, Paxton Pits
16th August2014 ©Jamie Wells
Norman Sills has made this months selection.

"My wife and I came to a unanimous decision! The Sand Martin on the twigs by Jamie Wells. Why? Well, the background is a plain, soft colour; the twigs make it interesting; it’s not that usual to see a martin perching on vertical twigs; the bird and the twigs together make an uncomplicated arrangement and thus has some impact. Pity the bird is a bit hunched, but it’s still our favourite. The two grebes in a sunset (Jamie Wells) was more or less second choice. Good impact, but ordinary behaviour and setting. Three of Tony Martin's pictures were very close contenders."


Picture of the month for October
Female Merlin, Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB
28th October 2014 ©Colin Brown
Richard Thomas has made this months selection.

"As ever, a fabulous array of photographs from last month in Cambridgeshire, and as it was October, as would be expected, it contains a selection of scarcer species. There's some real quality portraits in there, and if Meadow Pipit hadn't come top in September, then either of Roger Cresswell's Meadow Pipits images would be strong contenders. Colin Brown's Long-tailed Tit portrait and action shot of Sparrowhawk and crows are both excellent, but I think the winning image for me this month is the second of Colin's three excellent flight shots of a Merlin: a beautifully sharp image of the underside that captures the compactness and grace of this diminutive, but sadly declining raptor."
Grey Partridge

Picture of the month for December Grey Partridge, Burwell Fen
15th December 2014 ©Neil Bramwell
Gillian Cox has made this months selection.

"So many brilliant photographs just choosing was very difficult. Finally, Neil Bramwell is again in the frame with the Grey Partridge taken at Burwell Fen on 15th December. Just one of our many declining birds, for me, always a pleasure to hear and even better when seen."

Pictures of the Month 2013
Pictures of the Month 2012
Pictures of the Month 2011
Pictures of the Month 2010


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