AN ASHINGTON man’s photo of a rare bird of prey has won him first prize in a prestigious competition.
Bill Doherty’s image of an osprey landed him top spot in the BBC Wildlife magazine’s photograph of the month contest.
His picture has been featured in this month’s edition and he also won a pair of Aigle wellington boots worth £170.
The 57-year-old said: “I am over the moon with the award, just to get an image into the most coveted magazine is an achievement.
“They usually only publish the best of the best wildlife images from the UK and abroad, but to win the photo of the month was more than I ever hoped for.”
Bill, who works as a service manager for the Coquet Trust in Gosforth, a charity which supports people with learning difficulties, spent a weekend at Rothiemurchus Fish Farm, near Aviemore, a popular feeding ground for the osprey, to get the winning shot.
Bill took up wildlife photography in the late 1990s and has published two books, A Bird In The Hand and Working Deerhounds, Lurchers and Longdogs.
The father-of-three said: “I have always had an affinity with wildlife from being a kid, before we had computers and we had to go outside to make our own amusement.
“If you are a wildlife person, you just can’t explain it. It is part of you, it is part of your life.
“For me, it is a wind-down and a bit of escapism.
“It keeps me sane at times, same with my writing.”
Another of Bill’s images, a kingfisher in flight, taken at Gosforth Park earlier this year, is being featured on the front cover of the latest edition of the Natural History of Northumbria’s magazine.
Bill attends the Ashington Co-op Camera Club at St Aidan’s Parish Hall in Station Road, every Thursday.