&imitation; Ian Stone
The winner of the 2017 Thomson Ecology Photography Competition has been announced and Ian Stone with his image 'Robbing in the Seaweed' has taken the top spot, winning the first prize of £200 plus royalties for the use of the photo.
The image was taken in July of this year, whilst Ian was assailing the Island of Unst, in the Shetland Isles – the most northerly inhabited island in Britain.
Commenting on the image, Ian replied: "We waited patiently and two hours later the otter, having caught a fish, came ashore to eat it. After eating the fish, the otter was acceptable enough to roll itself in the seaweed to clean its fur, before silently dropping back into the water to continue in its search for food.
It is important when photographing wildlife to be circumspect with the shutter, and this is especially so with the otter. The importance of being down-wind, not making any noise and the occasional use of the shutter will pay off."
&replica; Mike Morely
Three runner-up images were also chosen. Rod Lamb's image, "Island in the Mist" was bewitched at Crummock Water in the Lake District on a foggy November afternoon; Andrew Pearson's underwater image image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that, "Remaining Seal" skillfully captures a juvenile grey seal as it rests underwater in a kelp bed on the Isles of Scilly; and Mike Morley's aspect, "Derwent Water" which Mike took at sunset in the Lake District on the beach's wooden ferry jetty.
Thomson Ecology is the largest untrammelled UK ecology consultancy in the UK and has been running a photography competition focusing on the natural world for seven years.