27/04/2016
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Photo of the Week: 20–26 April

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Woodcock by Andy Thompson

Woodcock

Here's a question: how many times have you actually seen a Woodcock during the spring out in the open like this, let alone been able to photograph it? My own views have always been of roding birds at this time of year, and I've never been able to point a lens at one, so I looked with envy at this stunning image by Andy Thompson.

This is a beautiful portrait of a very tricky bird to photograph out in the open, and it really does appear to be enjoying the early morning sunshine. With a highlight in the eye, soil on the bill and the cryptic plumage on full show, it's hard to imagine a better-looking shot; even the branch along the bottom of the frame takes nothing away from the composition.

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Andy took advantage of a superb opportunity using a 600 mm lens, shooting at 1/800th second, f7.1 on ISO 640. Congratulations to him on this well-deserved Photo of the Week.

You can read more on bird photography from Steve Young, including product reviews and a regular Photo Challenge for readers, every month in Birdwatch magazine.

Other notable images

Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher, Cresswell Pond NWT, Northumberland (Photo: Heiko Peters)

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher, Betwys-y-Coed, Conwy (Photo: Bob Garrett)

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher, undisclosed site, Shropshire (Photo: Paul Burgess)

Nightingale
Nightingale, undisclosed site, Suffolk (Photo: Nick Appleton)

Razorbill
Razorbill, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, East Yorkshire (Photo: Clare Ward)

Goldcrest
Goldcrest, Hollesley, Suffolk (Photo: John Richardson)

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff, Attenborough NR, Nottinghamshire (Photo: Simon Richardson)

Grey Heron
Grey Heron, Cley Marshes NWT, Norfolk (Photo: Jill Wilson)

Hoopoe
Hoopoe, Romsley, Worcestershire (Photo: Chris Cook)

Swift
Common Swift, East Chevington NWT, Northumberland (Photo: Jonathan Farooqi (Age 15))

Western Subalpine Warbler
Western Subalpine Warbler, Switzerland (Photo: Jacques Cloutier)

Gannet
Gannet, Fife Ness, Fife (Photo: John Anderson)

Alpine Swift
Alpine Swift, Cyprus (Photo: Russell Hayes)

Cuckoo
Cuckoo, undisclosed site, Carmarthen (Photo: Jeff Lack)

Green Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire (Photo: Andrew Moon)

Written by: Steve Young