Surf and Velvet Scoters by Tony Pope
This impressive image, taken off the North Wales coast by Tony Pope, demonstrates that capturing an outstanding bird photo isn't always about having a frame-filling subject or making the most of perfect light conditions. Depicting males of Velvet and Surf Scoters – both scarce species in Wales – Tony has made the most of a very rare opportunity to see these special seaduck close inshore and frame an encounter that will surely live long in his memory. For those who know this stretch of the North Wales coast, the scoter here are more often than not stratospherically distant and no more than tiny black blobs when viewed through a telescope, so to be able to appreciate every intricate detail of their extraordinary plumages at close range – and manage to capture five birds in the frame at once in what was evidently a fairly choppy sea – makes this an image to remember.
Other notable images
Dipper, Derbyshire (Tony Davison).
European Stonechat, Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk (Mike Lane).
Tawny Owl, Treorchy, Glamorgan (Holly Tudball).
Carrion Crow, Northampton, Northamptonshire (Dave Jackson).
Blackbird, Bewdley, Worcestershire (Clive Daelman).
Waxwing, Bradford, West Yorkshire (Tony Davison).
Pied Plover, Pantanal, Mato Grosso (Kit Day).
Common Redshank, Meols, Cheshire (Richard Castell).
Greater Flamingo, Ebro Delta NP, Catalonia (Peter Newman).
Western Cattle Egret, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire (Miles Cluff).
Great Crested Grebe, Furzton Lake, Buckinghamshire (Nigel Kiteley).
Velvet Scoter, Llanddulas, Conwy (Dave Williams).
Smew, Stocker's Lake, Hertfordshire (Shaun Ferguson).