Black Woodpecker by Mark Woodhead
In a week in which several outstanding images were uploaded to the BirdGuides galleries, it is Mark Woodhead's impressive head-on capture of a Black Woodpecker at its nest hole that takes top spot. Black Woodpecker is a formidable bird and this angle of a male, with the red crown, 'ivory' bill and shockingly white eyes standing out from the black plumage (and hole), not to mention the impressive claws, give this image an almost foreboding or menacing feel.
In truth, there is nothing 'scary' going on here – it's simply a bird excavating a nest cavity ahead of the breeding season, yet Mark's image demonstrates how the impression or mood of an image can be influenced by capturing the subject at an interesting or unusual angle. This is a special shot and Mark must have relished the opportunity to watch one of the world's most spectacular woodpecker species at such close range.
Other notable images
Garganey, Thornham, Norfolk (Nick Brown).
Hooded Merganser, Whinfell Tarn, Cumbria (Robert Mcveigh).
European Honey Buzzard, Al Huwariyah, Tunisia (Peter Harris).
Wood Sandpiper, Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire (Ian Bollen).
Northern Lapwing, Catcott Lows NR, Somerset & Bristol (Carl Bovis).
Forster's Tern, Brownsea Island NT, Dorset (Lee Fuller).
European Bee-eater, Bidnija, Malta (Natalino Fenech).
Woodpigeon, Craster, Northumberland (John Gawthrope).
Grey Wagtail, Bradford Dale, Derbyshire (Graeham Mounteney).
Pied Wagtail, Keighley Moor Reservoir, West Yorkshire (Irene Harrison).
Finsch's Wheatear, Pamukkale, Turkey (Stephen Ray).
Dark-eyed Junco, Rattray Head, Aberdeenshire (Keith Yates).
Reed Warbler, Llandrindod Wells, Powys (Kev Joynes).