A COUPLE from Bedlington have snapped the top prize in a regional photography competition.
Eric and Susan Wilson won first prize in the Wildlife Behaviour category of the first North East Wildlife competition with their image of a kingfisher.
The picture was also chosen as the overall winner of the competition by broadcaster and author David Lindo, also known as ‘The Urban Birder’.
Eric and Susan, who are members of Cambois Camera Club, had gone to Gosforth Park nature reserve to try and photograph rare bitterns, which had been attracted there by the reed beds.
Eric, who took the winning snap, said: “Sometimes you see kingfishers at the reserve and then you can go weeks without seeing them again.
“I have never seen one behave in the way this one did with the wood on the tree. Perhaps it was cleaning its beak.”
The wildlife trusts of Northumberland, Durham and Tees Valley merged their individual contests with the region-wide competition, backed by the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle.
The competition attracted 1,500 entries.
Mike Pratt, chief executive of Northumberland Wildlife Trust said: “Wildlife behaviour is so unpredictable.
“You just don’t know what you are going to see each time you head outdoors, as Eric’s wonderful photograph demonstrates.
“No wonder it grabbed the attention of all the judges. He is a very worthy winner.”
The couple won £250, an IS 60 digiscoping kit for digital single-lense reflex cameras and a colour canvass of their photo.