Picture of Northumberland seabird wins at British Wildlife Photography Awards

Photographer Steven Fairbrother a winner in British Wildlife Photography Awards with his picture of a shag nesting on the Farne Islands

Steven Fairbrother/PA Wire A shag resting taken in Northumberland by Steven Fairbrother, which won the Animals Portraits category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014
A shag resting taken in Northumberland by Steven Fairbrother, which won the Animals Portraits category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014

It's a well-beaten path from Steven Fairbrother’s home in Leicestershire to the Farne Islands off Northumberland.

But now it has paid off with Steven a winner in the prestigious British Wildlife Photography Awards, which celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife.

Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in 16 separate categories, with Steven winning the Animal Portraits section with his study of a shag resting on the Farne Islands.

Steven, who makes annual trips to the islands from his home in Castle Donington, said: “It’s always a thrill to get so close to a wild bird and it’s hard to believe that any bird on the Farnes is able to rest with all the frantic activity and noise that the breeding season brings.

“For this shot, I was lucky in being able to land on Staple Island and there were three birds grouped together which gave the black background.”

In 2013, his image of a shag and its chick on the Farne Islands, titled Watchful Eye, was highly commended in the competition.

Steve, a freelance graphic designer, added: “It’s a great experience to be around wild birds that have no fear of you and where you have plenty of time to compose your shot.

“It still took 40 minutes of lying prone on the rocks for me to get a shot with both their heads pointing in the same direction.

“I come to the Farne Islands because I know I am going to see something. I am also interested in landscape photography and on the Northumbrian coast generally you can’t go wrong.”

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