Monday, 7 January 2019

Clean sweep

A few more species to add into the year list with Mediterranean gull, pintail, 6 shelduck appearing a few days later, black tailed godwit, merlin and red kite today to keep things ticking over.  Thanks to everyone whom participated in the day - we also raised £35.10 for Ryedale Wildlife Rehab to assist in their good work. 

As the official Tophill Christmas tree has become a habitat pile for the wrens, the Wildlife Photography Exhibition also comes to an end.  Thanks to everyone who submitted images and visited and voted in what was a really successful first instalment.  Hopefully everyone got chance to drop in and look through them.  Judging them was really difficult - as mentioned previously the panel's decision was based not purely on image and kit, but also the context and story the image told.  All were judged anonymously (where untitled on the picture).  Its all subjective; but our decision was for the animal category:
Marsh Frog by Rose Habberley - whilst technically an invasive; we liked its epic struggle up the log:

For the Wading bird category:
Jack snipe by Brian Blinkhorn - It was close run but the scarcity of the species in a well posed shot in its habitat edged it. 

For the plants category;
Water violets by Steve Shipley - Simple and effective on the reception hide pond. 

For the birds category;
Another Blinkhorn!  lots of great pictures in this category but the soft light on a tribute to a bird which more than likely didn't make it (one of this years youngsters which had been roosting on the reception hide but succumbed in Decembers prolonged wet spell).

Rob Worsfold's complete rainbow over the approach road. 

Best gull was a 50:50 shot with just two participants!:
Geraldine Gray's nesting black headed.

And then a hatrick for the kingfisher category:
Brian Blinkhorn again - a difficult choice but the way Brian's kingfisher had a three dimensional aspect and the clearly focussed pupil on its prey set it apart. 

And finally for invertebrates;
Scorpion fly by Steve Hines - a well posed picture of a smart beast. 

One category went un-awarded - young photographer unfortunately with no takers.  We'll certainly be running the exhibition again next Christmas with similar categories, but with the addition of a short video / sound recoding class of up to three minutes.  Full details will be posted in due course so get snapping...

But were the jury correct?  We also had the public vote so visitors could express their opinion.  The ballot was counted today and in 4th place:
Meadow pipits by Steve Hines - a cracking shot of a daily bird at Tophill - but very seldom on the ground.  In 3rd place:
Curlew by John Leason - a pin sharp shot of a bird that deserves recognition at Tophill.  In second place:
Hare by John Leason - a stunning portrait of an animal synonymous with East Yorkshire, and in 1st place...
Bittern by John Leason! Certainly a compelling verdict and well deserved on the consistency of quality in all his images.  Also worthy of note that it was taken at the aspect of the photography hide - so hopefully more to come this season at this location...