Past Winners of our Photo Competitions – 2021
With over 1000 images submitted this decision was a tough one. A special congratulations goes to the photographers of the final 20 images shortlisted.
First Place – Duckling catching flies – By Darrell Arnone.
Young duckling catching flies out of the air at The Irish National Stud, Kildare.
Second Place – Red Squirrel taking a drink after a hectic afternoon, Ballyfin, Laois – By Daniel Heap.
Winner of People’s Choice title
Third Place – Hungry chick – By Christopher Howes
Male Stonechat feeding chick as it had fledged over 4 days from nest. I have been waiting for this shot and trying for a long time and finally I got my break and I hope you like it. It took me a long time and actually learning a lot more while I waited. Took with a 600mm lens.
Honourable Mention – Heron Victoria Bay – By Vivian Wynne Philips.
Heron Victoria Bay on a foggy morning surveying for an early breakfast
Honourable Mention – Fox moth – By James O’Neill.
My eye caught by a flicker of movement at the base of a gorse bush, I was delighted to find this newly-emerged Fox Moth warming up his wings for his first flight. I have seen many of their silky-haired caterpillars in the area around my home in West Cork, but this was my first sighting of an adult. Males are day-flying, searching for females by combing the air for their scent with those impressive antennae. Within minutes, he had launched himself into the air and set off on an energetic, zig-zagging flight upwind, dancing over the tops of the grasses in his insatiable quest.
Honourable Mention – The Stand Off – By Jonathan Rosborough.
Cuckoo and Meadow Pipit
Atlantic Puffin with sandeels – By Declan Roche.
Photographed on Saltee Islands off Co Wexford
Orange Tip butterfly on a Cuckoo flower – By Sinéad Craig.
Taken on 22nd May, in Inishowen, Co Donegal while out exploring our local flora and fauna.
Short ears, bright eyes, long wingspan – By Donal Power.
Short eared owl at Killmichael point, Wexford, gets ready to return to its breeding grounds in Scotland.
Male Grouse on Wicklow Mountain – By John Murphy
Magpie Pretending Not To Look At Me – Dublin North City – By Paula T Nolan.
All my photographs are taken in Dublin North City, where I live. Since Covid and much local walking, I have become amazed by the biodiversity of this urban place, and how nature thrives regardless of pollution of all sorts. I have tried to steer my own garden to provide a good place for birds, bees, butterflies, my neighbour’s frogs and even local cats. Before Covid, I hardly went into the little garden/yard at all.
This was taken on the busy Alfie Byrne Road, East Wall, Dublin 3. The magpie clocked me from a fair bit away but didn’t fly off, which they usually do, and was actually quite curious. This photo seems to have caught the magpie pretending not to be in the slightest interested in me, even facing the other way, but sneaking a look back all the same.
Round Leaved Sundew – By Lorraine Strang.
Round Leaved Sundew, a tiny carnivorous species of flowering plant which grows in bogs and marshes in amongst the sphagnum moss. The glistening sticky droplets at the ends of the tendrils attract and trap passing insects, the leaf then curls inwards around it’s prey and the plant eventually digests and absorbs the victim’s nutrients.
Devils Glen Bluebells – By Aoife Hester
Blackbird – By Lill Dunne.
My Nature Shots from May
Greylag Geese – By Joan O’Neill.
Wild Greylag Icelandic geese that are on the shore of Fenloe Lake, NewMarket-on-Fergus in Clare. Wonderful to see when they fly from Iceland, and stayed safe!
Froglet – By Carla Ennis
Dragonfly – By Enda O’Loughlin.
Dragon Fly after emerging from its nymph stage, waking up before it takes off. taken at the Lough Boora Discovery Park.
Curious Pine Marten – By Colette Gemmell.
I took this image at 6.22am on the 25/05/2021 close to my home in Kingscourt Co Cavan, I was actually out early to try and see some Hares I knew were in the area but unfortunately there was no show from the Hares that morning. Just as I was about to leave I saw something coming towards me jumping through the long grass, it just kept getting closer until it was right in front of me, only then did it pause for a second and that’s when I got this shot just as it noticed me and then it scampered through the hedge and was gone.
I was delighted as it was my first time to come so close to a Pine Marten and to have gotten this nice clear photo of it.
Lockdown Safari – By Jerome Fennell
Little Wings – By Rita Eaton Judges Comments
Our judges this year were Frank Miller, former Photo Editor of the Irish Times, and Alan Betson, Photographer for the Irish Times. They shared the following comments about their choices.
“We were really, really very impressed with the standard of entries this year. There were some really lovely images entered and in all honesty at least ten entries merited serious consideration for prizes. In the end though we had to narrow it down and we settled on the charming picture of the duckling catching flies by Darrell Arnone as our overall winner. There were several reasons for this – first and foremost it is a delightful image, there is a sense of wonder as the young duckling comes to terms with it’s survival by catching its food, there is the beautiful texture and colours of the water and the magical summer light. But perhaps the clincher was that the image captures not just a single species trying to survive but the swarming flies and the interdependence of the natural world.
The second prize went to Dan Heap for a quite perfect image of a red squirrel taking a drink. The timing is perfect, catching the drops of water from the squirrel’s mouth and the perfectly composed reflection in the water adds to its impact.
Third prize goes to Chris Howes for Hungry Chick – another perfectly composed image with perfect timing too. The fact that the birds are each out on a limb of a bush with space between, together with the picture quality showing clearly the insect dinner being delivered makes this image an absolute winner.
Honourable Mentions. We could have picked ten but have narrowed it down to three. We loved the image of the Fox Moth by James O’Neill, the clarity and timing is extremely impressive and the upright composition adds to the power of the image. The Stand-off by Jonathan Rossborough is terrific. The Cuckoo’s “body language” is unmistakable and the Meadow Pippet holds back, a great capture of the engagement between the different birds. We loved Heron, Victoria Bay by Vivian Wynne Philips, it is a painterly image with wonderful subtle tones. The focus is perfect, highlighting the bird and the water while allowing the gentle tones of the watery environment to set the mood.”
Frank Miller – former Photo Editor for the Irish Times and Judge in this years competition Past Winners of our Photo Competitions – 2019
As we did not hold our photography competition in 2020, we are celebrating the winners and finalists from 2019. Scroll through the galleries below to see the shortlist and winners for the Amateur and Young Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition 2019.
Biodiversity Photographer of the Year 2019
Amateur Photographer Winners and Shortlist
Suzanne Behan (WINNER)
– Great Crested Grebes
“The great crested grebe is the largest member of the grebe family and is known for its elaborate mating displays, watching these birds is such thrill and thankfully they are successfully breading in Ireland like this pair spotted on a lake in Cavan. The grebe was almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century due to its head plumes that were used to decorate hats.”
Mike Lavery (SECOND PLACE)
– Ducklings leap of faith
“When animals recognise and follow around their mother it’s called imprinting. It warms the heart to see these little ducklings not only swim in a line behind their mother but to fearlessly jump down all the sections of the waterfalls as she waited below.”
Thomas Ormond (THIRD PLACE)
– Emerging Mayfly
“In late April and throughout the month of May large numbers of mayfly emerge from Lough Corrib. They normally take flight within seconds of appearing but luckily this one got trapped in the surface film just long enough to capture this image.”
Katie Gordon (Highly Commended)
– Gathering Materials
“Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) collecting nesting material before flying back to their nests on the Great Saltee Island, Co. Wexford. It was a joy to sit and watch the gannets collecting sea campion and other plants for nesting material.”
Simon Carter (Highly Commended)
– Solitary bee resting on cowslip
“A wild honey bee drying itself after a shower, sitting on cow parsleyin Nenagh, Co Tipperary..”
Kenny Goodison (HighlyCommended)
“I was out at the Wexford wildfowl reserve going to one of their hides to shoot some birds and noticed four hares were around in the area so I went about my business into the hide, After I was done in the hide I quietly opened the door and noticed this hare sitting off in the distance from the hide and managed to get this shot through the fence without the hare noticing I was there.”
– Relaxing Squirrel
– First Outlook
– Common Green Shieldbug
“This photo of a Common Green Shieldbug was taken in the Raven Forest, CurracloeCo.Wexford. I was just about to pack up my gear after being caught in a heavy shower when I noticed this little guy sitting on a Gorse Bush.”
– Sealed with a Kiss
“This image of a beautiful grey seal was taken on Ireland’s east coast. Grey Seals are Ireland’s largest land breading mammals and are thrilling to watch both in & out of the water. They have a real character about them and thankfully their numbers have been rising since their protection as a species.”
– Collector General
“This photo was taken on a sunny afternoon in Rathfarnham, Dublin beside the river Dodder. It was taken with a macro lens in an effort to show in the greatest possible detail the work of the bee, covered in pollen, as he goes about his all-important business.”
– Puffin Wings
“The puffin with wings opened was photographed on Great Saltee Island on beginning of breeding time in May, while collecting material for its nest in burrow. From time to time they come out to stretch their wings.”
– Dinner is Served
“A heron hunting in one of the many quiet backwaters in the middle of Galway city indulging in a spot of pest control.in the hour that i watched the bird he struck twice to great effect and swallowed the rats head first”
– Hard working bee collecting Pollen
“I went out in a friend’s field down in Inch Co. Wexford equipped aiming to snap some nice looking ladybirds when I saw some bee’s flying about the flowers so I chanced my arm at capturing them flying and collecting pollen.”
– Curlew on Beach
“The Curlew on the beach was photographed on the Tacumshin brackish waters just before sunset in Co Wexford. I was waiting to take a picture under my camo meshwith a nice and colourful background.”
Biodiversity Photographer of the Year 2019
Young Photographer Winners and Shortlist
Naoise McManus (WINNER)
– Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
“When I saw this leaf in in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, I was delighted as it seemed to sum up Ireland for me -rain and greenery but still absolutely beautiful. It also shows the importance of rain in helping our plants survive and thrive.”
Maria Alomar Quetglas (SECOND PLACE)
– The Frog
“I was working in a festival in Athlone and frogs were joining us for the whole day. When I got to photograph one of them, I could see the depth in their eyes. I got lost in them.”
Karolina Solecka (THIRD PLACE)
– A ladybird
– Blue eyed baby fox
– The Hungry Caterpillar
“I was very lucky with this shot. The caterpillar caught my eye because of the contrast of the dark caterpillar against the white flower. It really made it stand out. It was very natural and shows both animals and plants surviving together.”
Featured image credit: John O’Brien