American Bittern by Richard Mills
An American Bittern striding along the side of a ditch, an almost purposeful look on its face with an "I'm going this way and nothing is stopping me" attitude; what more could you want from a winning image?
This is a wonderfully caught shot by Richard Mills of the well-watched bird at Castlefreke, Ireland, and getting it must have taken a lot of patience. Richard kept his distance when taking the shot, using a 500mm lens and a 1.7× converter on a camera with a 1.5x crop factor. A shutter speed of 1/640th second has perfectly stopped the movement as the bird makes its way through the vegetation.
Congratulations to Richard on his POTW; a new species and a new photographer to add to this year's winners.
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.