Nature’s intense attractiveness emerges forcefully from the 2023 British Wildlife Images Awards. Our Photo Editor Lucy Ford has the pick of the ideal pictures, from a somnolent fox to a hungry buzzard, with text by Carla Passino.
Mid- air in a leaden Gloucestershire sky, a buzzard ambushes a barn owl, one particular talon viciously grabbing the smaller chook, the other earning for its prey, a very small vole.
In an urban wildflower patch, a vixen wakes up from her slumber lined in a fuzz of dandelion seed-heads.
In the Shetlands, a skua — wings distribute, beak extensive open up — seems to be each individual inch the pirate on its cliff.
And in a London park, a few ducklings snooze peacefully as the metropolis whirls busily around them.
British Character, in all its charming, red-toothed glory, bursts from the pages of the British Wildlife Pictures Awards 11, a book collating the very best entries to the 2023 British Wildlife Photography Awards opposition.
It is the first time the contest has taken position considering the fact that covid and the judges experienced a challenging time deciding on the winners from more than 13,000 visuals, which they evaluated not only for talent, creativeness and craft, but also, as director Will Nicholls explains, for upholding ‘strict values when it comes to the wellbeing of the subjects’.
The pictures are a triumph of wide-eyed sharks, leaping bunnies, fuzzy owlets and seahorses so stern they’d put a headmistress to disgrace.
They operate the gamut from the majestic — a lone stag silhouetted against snow-capped Highlands, a purple kite, traveling intense and undeterred in heavy snow flurry — to the wondrous (an underwater photograph of plankton reminiscent of the night time sky) and the curious, this sort of as an amphibian threesome in which two male toads check out to hitch a elevate on the identical woman or the excellent bustard that wanders, a great deal like a bewitched tourist, close to Stonehenge.
Some photos difficulty a stark warning about the fragility of our habitats.
In a shot of excellent crested grebes courting, the first bird provides a existing of pondweed, but the second proffers a piece of plastic, highlighting, as decide David Plummer places it, ‘our personal species’ flagrant disregard for the environment’.
Other photographs display wildlife reconquering city spots — not minimum the overall winner, a portrait, by Charlie Webpage, of a proud fox that saunters with a lot more than a soupçon of conceitedness past the pylons of London’s Lee Valley Park.
The photographs seize times of intimate splendor, far too, often tinged by comedian relief: Otterly Relaxed, a doggy otter comforting on shore, hind ft up, nose in the air, is a reminder that Character brings solace to us all.