Mallard by Neil Loverock
Appealing bird photography so often involves framing the subject in a 'classic' pose, with a bird often shown in profile both for visual appeal but also from an identification perspective, detailing as many plumage or structural features as possible. Yet sometimes a photo can be quite abstract and still be instantly recognisable, as with this brilliant shot by Neil Loverock.
With its orange legs, yellow bill and curly tail feathers on show, this duck is quickly identifiable as a male Mallard. However, the star of this unorthodox shot is without doubt the beautiful azure blue of the bird's speculum, which is positively glowing in the spring sunshine. Some photographers might have deleted this unconventional image on the basis of it looking somewhat 'messy' at first glance, but Neil has achieved an unusual and highly effective bird image here. Congratulations!
Other notable images
Eurasian Teal, Filey Dams YWT, North Yorkshire (Ian Howard).
Mute Swan, Melbourne, Derbyshire (Tony Davison).
Black-crowned Night Heron, Ossett, West Yorkshire (Paul Coombes).
Black-necked Grebe, St Aidan's RSPB (Swillington Ings), West Yorkshire (Ian Howard).
Forster's Tern, Sutton Bingham Reservoir, Somerset & Bristol (Brian Thompson).
Long-billed Dowitcher, Cley Marshes NWT, Norfolk (David Griffiths).
See-see Partridge, Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, Iran (Akbar Nemati).
Northern Wheatear, Northam Burrows CP, Devon (Maxwell Law).
Collared Flycatcher, Bidnija, Malta (Natalino Fenech).
Pied Flycatcher, Portland, Dorset (John Wall).
Sand Martin, Beeston, Nottinghamshire (Ian Bollen).
Ring-necked Parakeet, Kew Gardens, London (Clive Daelman).