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camera Photo of the Week Winners 2016

Photo of the Week >   Photo of the Week Winners 2016 >

Photo taken in woods in South Wales by Bruce McDonald with a basic compact digital camera.

More photos and info about trees here

Willow Tit.  Photo taken by Pete Tanton at Forge Valley, East Yorkshire with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 lens.

More about Willow Tits here

Frost Flower.  One of nature's rare, and rather beautiful phenomenon.  Frost flowers occur when conditions are just right, on cold autumn or early winter mornings.

More photos and info about frost flowers here

This is either a bumblebee which woke up early from its winter sleep, or it's one which just skipped the whole winter sleep thing.  It was spotted recently by Jill Shaw in her garden in Lincolnshire.  Jill used an Olympus OMD E-M1 camera with a 75-300mm lens.

More photos and info about Bumblebees here

A female Kingfisher photographed on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Kintbury, Berkshire, by Jennifer Williams.  Jennifer used a Lumix DMC FZ1000 camera.

More photos and info about Kingfishers here

Mute Swan photographed flying over the River Leven, Balloch by Jim Duncan.  Camera used was a Nikon D7000 with an 80-400mm Nikkor VR lens.

More photos and info about Mute Swans here

Grey Seal photographed at Horsey Beach on the Norfolk by John Dye.

More photos and info about Grey Seals here

Red Deer stag photographed by Don Faulkner in the New Forest near Ringwood, Hampshire. Camera was a Fuji HS10.

More photos and info about Red Deer here

Nik Hunt spotted this male Adder at Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex.  We like the way he photographed the snake tasting the air with its tongue.  Camera used was a Nikon Coolpix.

More photos and info about Adders here

Reed Bunting (female) photographed by Ray Purser at Carsington Water, Derbyshire, using a Canon 30D and 300mm f2.8 lens + 2x converter.

More photos and info about Reed Buntings here

Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor, Devon, photographed by Dan Edwards.

At an altitude of around 400 metres, Wistman's Wood is one of the highest oakwoods in Britain.  As a result, the trees you see here, which are hundreds of years old, remain small and stunted by the extreme weather.  Both the trees and the surrounding rocks are festooned with a tremendous variety of mosses and lichens.

More photos and info about trees here

Do you get the feeling you're being watched? Dean Stables took this photo of frogspawn in his garden pond in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

More photos frogs and frogspawn here

This photo of a Great Crested Grebe (with lunch) was taken by David Smith at Mere Sands Woods Nature Reserve, Lancashire.  Camera used was a Canon 1D Mk3 with a 1.4 teleconverter.

More photos of Great Crested Grebes here

Nuthatch photographed at Allestree Park, Derby by Stephen Plant.  The nuthatch is seen here at the entrance to its nest, adding mud from a nearby stream.  The mud is placed all around the edge of the hole to reduce the size of the entrance.  Once it dries this ring of mud helps to keep predators out.  Camera used was a Pentax K5 with a Sigma 150-500mm lens, hand held.

More photos of Nuthatches here

Red Grouse photographed at Blakey Ridge, North Yorkshire by Pete Tanton.  Camera used was a Canon 7D Camera with a 300mm lens.

More photos and info on Red Grouse here

Sunbathing Black Adder, photographed by Richard Stroud in Pamber Forest, Hampshire.

More photos and info about Adders here >
More unusually coloured wildlife here >

Dandelions at the edge of the road photographed with a Panasonic DMC-FZ38 by G. Bradley.

More about this photo here

Steven Murray photographed this Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) emerging from its nest on a garden lawn near Pontypridd, South Wales.  Camera used was a Canon 7D with a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro.  A bright day allowed an f11 aperture.

More about Ashy Mining Bees here >

Tony Fowler took this photo of a Grey Squirrel in Sidmouth, Devon, eating a Cornetto ice cream!  Not something you see everyday.

This particular squirrel, nicknamed "Stumpy", will readily come to eat out of your hand.  Tony buys him a bag of mixed nuts and Stumpy comes to pick out his favourites.  Pecans (for immediate eating), Hazels and Brazils (stashed), Cashews (no thanks, they're so last month).

More about Grey Squirrels here >

Dan Edwards got this super photo of a Grass Snake taking a swim in the sunshine at a lake in Stover Country Park, Devon.

More about Grass Snakes here >

Richard Leah took this photo of a Scorpion Fly at Camelford, Cornwall.  He used a Nikon D800 camera with a Sigma 105 mm macro lens.  Despite the name and curious appearance Scorpion Flies are harmless insects.  They feed mostly on other dead flies, which they bravely steal from the webs of spiders.

More photos and info about Scorpion Flies here >

Take a good look at this spider which was photographed in North London by Salih Karava.  Now that all those false stories about False Widow spiders have died down I predict this will be the next big scary arachnid story for the tabloids.

This spider goes by the scientific name of Zoropsis spinimana.  Zorro is a newcomer to the UK.  A big newcomer.  Head to tail they measure up to 19 mm, so they're a good deal bigger than the House Spiders we're used to finding in our bath tubs.  They originate from Mediterranean regions, but have now established themselves in parts of England (especially around London) so they might be coming to an area near you soon.

Zoropsis spinimana is a bit of a mouthful and a tricky name to remember.  In California, where this spider has also been introduced it's sometimes called the "Garage Spider".  But there are so many species of spider which inhabit garages that name is sure to lead to confusion.

In Portugal it's known as the "spider-of-large-logs".  Not sure where they get that name from, but I suspect "large logs" are what some Portuguese people leave behind them as they run, screaming, from the shower after finding one of these hairy heavyweights on the bathroom ceiling.

Another name I've heard mentioned is "False Wolf Spider".  This seems to have been well thought through.  They do look a bit like a Wolf Spider... a Wolf Spider that's been taking steroids and working out at the gym for the past year.  Zorro also hunts like a Wolf Spider by grabbing their prey (as opposed to catching it in a web), so it's likely this name will catch on.

Like most spiders it has enough venom to inflict a temporarily painful bite, but not enough to do any serious harm.  So before the tabloids start printing their "Giant Meditteranean Benefit Scrounging Killer Spiders Invade Britain" headlines lets all take a deep breath and look at this one rationally.  Although most of us live with spiders around us our whole lives BITES ARE RARE.

More about False Wolf Spiders (catchy name) here >

This bright yellow Crab Spider on a Buddleia bush was photographed this week by Simon Cross in Bristol.  Crab Spiders are gifted with the ability to alter their body colour to match their background, although this is usually limited to shades of white or yellow.

Camera used was a Nokia Lumia phone.

More photos and info about Crab Spiders here >

This photo of a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding his youngster was taken by Pete Tanton at a park in East Yorkshire.  He used a Canon 7D Camera with a 300mm lens.

More photos and info about Great Spotted Woodpeckers here >

Dan Edwards photographed this Pellucid Hoverfly in Bishopsteignton, South Devon.  He used a Canon 7D Mark II with a 100mm macro lens.

More photos and info about hoverflies here >

Luke Baker used his iPhone 6 to photograph this Large Skipper Butterfly in Hartley Witney, Hampshire.

More about Large Skipper Butterflies here >

This photo by Pam Higginson shows a tribe of newly hatched Box Bugs proudly displaying their shield-shaped, leaf-like abdomens.  Those little gleaming golden beads on the leaf next to them are their empty egg casings.  Camera used was a compact Canon IXUS 950 1S.

Box Bugs are so called because they were originally found feeding on the sap of Box trees, on Box Hill, Surrey.  They can now be found in many parts of England where they feed on other trees including Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

More information about Shield Bugs here >

Tony Rivett took this photo of a Banded Demoiselle while he was fishing at Lenwade in Norfolk.  He used a Panasonic Lumix TZ6 on macro setting.

More information about Banded Demoiselles here >

Tony Wharton photographed these mating Marbled Whites in the Cotswolds.  He used a hand-held Canon Ixus 500 digital compact.

More information about Marbled White butterflies here >

John Taylor photographed this Puss Moth caterpillar in his garden in Ipswich.  Puss Moth caterpillars are freaky looking critters, but don't mention it in front of one.  When a Puss Moth gets irritated it can spray formic acid from a gland just below its head!

More information here... like why are they called Puss Moths? >

Paul Gordon photographed this Water Vole on Wallasea Island, Essex.  He used a Canon EOS 60D and 18-200mm lens

More information about Water Voles here >

Black Darter dragonfly photographed by Dean Eades at Crowle Moor in Lincolnshire using Canon equipment

More information about Black Darter Dragonflies here >

Close up of a male Gatekeeper Butterfly photographed by Len Gill

More information about Gatekeeper Butterflies here >

We have some beautiful looking spiders in the UK like this lovely sunshine coloured Crab Spider.  Mary Blatchford spotted this one in her garden in Bristol.  Normally these yellow spiders try to conceal themselves by sitting on a yellow flower, but this one seems to enjoy more of a challenge.

More information about Crab Spiders here >

Jamie Nast spotted this Great Wood Wasp at Hamsterley Forest in County Durham.  Most people mistake that projection at the back of the wasp to be some sort of stinging organ, but it's actually just a cover for the egg laying tube.  You can see in the photo that the wasp has inserted the thin black tube into the wood and is in the process of depositing her eggs.  Jamie used a Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone to photograph it.

More information about Great Wood Wasps here >

As far as we know there have been no sightings of Napoleon Spiders in the UK.  But that didn't stop Nicky Carrick and her family finding and photographing this one in their garden on the Scottish border near Kelso!

This might be the only one in the UK, or perhaps there are more about which have just never been recorded.  If you find one send us a photo.

More information about Napoleon Spiders here >

Dean Eades photographed this rather cute Little Owl at Coldhanworth in Lincolnshire using Canon equipment.

More info about Little Owls here >

John Graham took this lovely shot of a group of Common Dolphins while he was on a sea safari off the coast of Cornwall, near Falmouth.

More info about Common Dolphins here >

Mute Swan by Colin Jaques

More info about Mute Swans here >

Red Deer Stag during the "rut". This stag looks so tired he can barely stand or keep his eyes open, but he's still roaring to warn other males to keep away from his girlfriends.  Richard Harris took this photo in Richmond Park, Surrey

Where can I see rutting deer? >

Katie Dawson found this impressive Convolvulus Hawkmoth while she was in the middle of a fun run with her family in Forest Row, East Sussex.  Convolvulus Hawk-moths are the largest moth you're ever likely to encounter in the UK.  They migrate here from North Africa in late summer.

More info about Convolvulus Hawkmoths >

Robert Mckenna photographed this Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthea Villosoviridescens) on a footpath in Kessingland, Suffolk.

More info about Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetles >

Lillian King took this well timed photo during the deer rut at Bushey Park, Surrey.  Stags often decorate their antlers with grass and bracken to make themselves look bigger and more intimidating.  This one has may have overdone it a bit.

More info about the Red Deer rut here >

Janice Whittington took this excellent close up of a Pipistrelle Bat while it was in her care at Landcross in North Devon.  Camera used was a Sony DSC-H1.

More info about Pipistrelle Bats here >

Karen Sutherland found this Cuckoo Ray while she was beachcombing in Banff, Aberdeenshire.  Karen wanted to get this one back into the sea but it kept thrashing its tail around, which as you can see is covered in sharp, boney spines.  Eventually she managed to lift it onto a large piece of driftwood and carried it back to the water.

More info about marine wildlife here >

Jo Sweetman photographed this Brown Hare on Havergate Island, Suffolk.  She used a Canon 60D and a Sigma 70-200 lens with a 1.4 teleconverter.

Havergate is the only Island in Suffolk and it's also an RSPB nature reserve.  It's known for its breeding avocets and terns, but the hares are also a familiar sight on the Island.

More info about Brown Hares here >

Ann Lloyd took this photo of an unusual snail trail in her Manchester garden.  It looks as if the snail has either been drinking, or perhaps has taken up ballroom dancing.

More info about Garden Snails here >

Looking like a collection of curious little statues, this group of Grey Herons was photographed at Murlough Nature Reserve, Northern Ireland, by Andrew Thompson.  He used a Panasonic DMC-LZ20 bridge camera.

Question - What do you call a group of herons? (find the answer here)

More photos and info about Grey Herons here >

Dean Eades photographed this Stonechat at Worlaby, Lincolnshire using Canon equipment.

More info about Stonechats here >

Richard Stroud photographed this bug hunting Green Woodpecker in his garden in Hampshire.  Gotta love that beady eye.  Camera used was a Nikon Coolpix P520.

More info about Green Woodpeckers here >

This Long-eard Owl was photographed by Pauline Stephenson in Wiltshire.  Pauline was lucky enough to have four Long-eared Owls roosting in a conifer tree just 12 feet from her bedroom window.

More info about Long-eared Owls here >

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