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Last modified: 28 February 2014
Image: Iris Waanders
A rare glimpse of the courtship habits of an elusive migratory bird was the subject of the winning photograph in the RSPB Scotland Wildlife Photography Competition 2013.
The stunning image of two red-necked phalaropes, taken by Iris Waanders of the Netherlands on a visit to Fetlar in Shetland last year, impressed the expert judging panel and was awarded the top prize of RSPB Scotland Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
The competition attracted over 200 high quality entries from across Scotland and internationally. Winners were selected in four categories including: Animal Behaviour, Wildscapes, Giving Nature a Home and People in Nature.
Commenting after winning the Award Iris said: “Scotland has beautiful unspoilt countryside, so different from the Netherlands. I love the Highlands and especially the Isles. I am honoured to win this competition and this photo is one of my favourites. We went to Fetlar with the hope of seeing a red-necked phalarope and it was fantastic to capture this photo.
Wildlife Cameraman and judge, John Aitchison, said: “Red-necked phalaropes are wonderfully confiding but they are also small and they move continuously which makes them hard to photograph. Unusually among birds the males are less brightly marked than the females so this photograph is interesting as it shows the drabber, slimmer male mating with the more colourful female. It's an excellent photograph of a fleeting and intimate moment in the lives of these fascinating birds which, RSPB research has just shown, cross the Atlantic when they leave Shetland then fly to the Pacific ocean to spend the winter on the sea close to the Galapagos Islands - the only European bird to do so."
Other winning snaps include a photo of a fiery sunrise in Cairngorms National Park, dolphins leaping near Chanonry Point and otters fishing off Yell in Shetland.
A special prize, was awarded to 11-year-old Imogen Hayden of Yorkshire for her photo of a white-tailed eagle fishing off the Isle of Skye. Imogen’s prize winning snap, taken on holiday last year, earned her the title of RSPB Scotland Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
To view the winners and runners up, please visit: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/scotland/archive/2014/02/14/drum-roll-please-rspb-scotland-photo-competition-winners-announced.aspx
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