If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Nature picture of the month.

  • 30-07-2014 11:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭

    As some may recall from the last feedback thread, the suggestion of a pic of the month thread was raised.

    Well come August we will be starting it.:)

    It is going to be a non chat thread, and at the end of each month the forum mods will go through all the pics in the photo thread and decide on one pic to be the stand out pic. The pic will be put in this thread and the thead remains locked so that over the course of the year it becomes a visual treat. We will also be inviting the taker of the winning pic to write up a little piece about their pic (if they would like to do so) and this could include a write up on the subject of their pic along with type of camera used or how they came to take the pic. Now if anyone does not wish to add a piece that is fine, and we will open it up to any forum member that would be interested in doing a write up on the subject of the pic. This write up would then be PM'd to a mod and it would be inserted into the post containing the pic and the person who wrote it would be credited for the write up.

    The criteria we will use to chose the pic will be varied and we will not always be picking the photo that is technically excellent. Things like species, quirkiness, time of year etc. will all come into it.

    So keep an eye on this thread come the start of August and you will see which pic from the month of July becomes the Nature & Birdwatching forum's first pic of the month.


    The N&BW mod team


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭Kess73

    August 1st


    Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly (Male)
    by Spookwoman, on Flickr

    This fantastic photo was captured in Waterford by Spookwoman. She had been taking part in the St Johns River clean up, and brought her camera along so that she could document the local wildlife for the Facebook page created for the clean up.

    The day of the clean up started off fairly quietly with the local wildlife content to stay in hiding. But just as the clean up was drawing to a close all the bugs came out to play, and Spookwoman decided to join them. The above shot is just one of many taken by her, and her Flickr page is well worth perusing

    The camera used by Spookwoman was a Canon 600D and it was coupled with a Sigma 70-300mm AP DG macro lens.

    A couple of links with more information on the Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭Kess73

    September 1st

    Common Tern, Rockabill
    by BBurke88, on Flickr

    This marvellous shot of a common tern was taken by OpenYourEyes on Rockabill Island.

    The camera used was a Nikon D60, which was coupled with a 55-200mm lens. The shot was of course taken under NPWS license.

    OpenYourEyes has been good enough to put together a write up as to how the picture came about, and has included a link to the excellent blog which was set up to share information about his time spent on Rockabill Island. So without further ado, I shall hand you over to what OpenYourEyes has to say.

    I spent the summer working for Birdwatch Ireland as a Tern warden on Rockabill Island, off the coast of Dublin, where over 2,000 pairs of Common Terns nested this year, as well around 1,250 pairs of Roseate Terns (the largest single colony in Europe).

    I spent many evenings watching and photographing the Terns in flight, but their quick movements and changes in light meant I ended up with a lot more bad pictures than good! Thankfully, I decided to bring my camera out one quiet afternoon in late July when there was a slight breeze, meaning some Terns were 'hanging' in the same spot in the air for a few seconds at a time before moving off - and this one happily obliged for a picture. From their narrow, pointed wings and long, forked tail you can see where they get the nickname 'Sea Swallow'.

    Conserving and monitoring seabirds is an excellent way of telling what is going on in our seas. We're still crunching the numbers but it looks like it wasn't a great year for Common Terns (or Rosseates) on Rockabill this year. It will be important to see how both species fare in the coming years to see if this year was just a one-off, or if it's part of a long-term trend. I hope to have a blog post on later in the week with further details of how each species on Rockabill fared this summer.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    October 1st 2014


    This wonderful shot of a Wheatear, by Bonedigger, was our pic of the month coming into October!

    In his own words:
    The shot of the Wheatear was taken in early September in the grounds of the Curragh racecourse.
    It's a popular spot for dog walkers and as a consequence not usually a great spot to take pics. of birds, but got lucky on this occasion. It was a dull enough evening and couldn't get particularly close to this little guy, but it was my very first shot of a Wheatear(in fact, my very first time to see one), so was absolutely delighted.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    November 1st 2014

    Congratulations to Mikka631 for his shot of a curious Sika Stag from Glendalough, our picture of the month from Octobers selction!

    I must say I love the fact that it not only gives a very sharp look at an attentive, impressive animal, but the rocky and heathery landscape around it really gives it context in terms of habitat and season. A great reward for what I'm sure is plenty of time spent 'in the field'.


    In his own words:
    This shot was taken on Camaderry Mountain in Glendalough, Co Wicklow just before the rut started in 2014. I used a Canon 7D with Canon 300mm f4L IS USM lens. I always go off the track and when I spot deer I try to keep a low profile often getting down in the long grass or behind whatever cover is available. I find that most times I can get quite close though inevitably am always spotted. I also find that during the rutting season that it is easier to get closer though one should always be careful as I have had Stags move in my direction on more than one occasion.

    You can view more of my Nature/Wildlife/Captive Animal shots on

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    December 1st 2014

    was the winner rom Novembers pictures - a cracking picture of a cracking animal - one that we all too rarely get to see - the Red Squirrel. And with a nice autumnal feel to the picture too!


    In his words:
    This squirrel was photographed early one morning in the one place you will always see a squirrel, Emo house and gardens, getting close is a different trick. This shot was taken early one morning the first time I had been out taking photographs for a while.

    This fella was fairly comfortable with me and if I stayed fairly quiet he carried on doing what was needed always keeping an eye on me. As this was under the trees and the light was only hitting the ground in patches I had to wait till he rested in the sun.

    The shot was taken with a Tamron 150-600 on a canon 7d. Iso 1000, f6.3, 600mm at 1/320

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    January 1st 2015

    Congrats to fret_wimp2 who had the picture of the month from Decembers selection - a fantastic shot of a Sparrowhawk on a Feral Pigeon!


    I'm sure we all have particular encounters with raptors or birds that will stick out in our mind, but the events of that day will stick out in his mind for another reason.....
    Photo was taken on the 19th of December, my wedding day. We were in Stephens green getting photos taken when what I though was a rock flew by my face. Looking back i saw the hawk nailing the pigeon.

    I only had my Fuji 100x with its fixed 35mm lens on me, but chanced a few shots anyway and managed to get close.

    landed myself in landing me in a fair auld bit of trouble when asked about my wedding a few weeks later i mentioned how photographing the hawk was the highlight of the day!

    Lessons Learned:
    -Always have a camera on you.
    -Type of camera does not matter, make the best of what you have. this was taken with a 35mm for Gods sake!
    -If this happens on your wedding day, dont say it was the most memorable part of the day!

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st February 2015

    Congratulations to Keps whose January shot of a Treecreeper was choice for Nature Picture of the Month - not a species that often lends themselves to good pictures, but he got a great shot here!


    Keps tells us.....
    'This was taken on a cold, crisp, bright day in early January in Lucan Demesne.
    I had walked about 2 miles along my usual route without seeing anything worth photographing.
    I was then headed back to the car when I caught sight of a coal tit –and as I tried to focus on it – I noticed this Treecreeper in the same tree.
    The light was good, the tree had a bit of character and the bird obliged by striking a suitable pose!
    Taken with a Nikon D7000 Camera, 80-400mm lens fully extended (on monopod). ISO 1000 and shutter speed 1/800th sec/F5.6. '

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st March 2015

    Congratulaations to Bernard0368 for a lovely image of a Female Mandarin Duck on the River Dodder - the picture of the month from February!
    I must say, I really enjoy the colours in this photo, really matching the colours of the bird itself, as well as the fact that it's in a great pose.


    In Bernard0368's own words:
    This shot is of a female mandarin duck that resides in Bushy park. There has been a small colony living there for a while now. Over the last few season the numbers have dwindled some believe that this has been due to the mink population increasing in the park. I have yet to see one in the park but I have seen them in the Dodder. So chances are they have migrated across.

    Last year it was great to see that the NPWS made a successful attempt in trapping a fair number of mink in the surrounds hopefully this will help them recover.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st April 2015

    Congratulations to Vistafinder for the Picture of the Month for March - two fantastic Goldfinch's engaged in a mid-air tussle! Not an easy shot to get!

    untitled-3319.jpg by vistafind, on Flickr

    In Vistafinder's own words:
    This picture was taken at home in the garden near the bird feeders. I recorded over 100 Goldfinches in the garden on one of the days that week. I was feeding them nyjer seed all winter. They eat 3 25kg bags. The singing was well worth the price of the seed. Brilliant

    I noticed when they were squabbling with each other near the feeders that they hang in the air for a split second and eventually I was able to get a shot.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st May 2015

    Congratulations to Bonedigger for the Picture of the Month from April - a Whitethroat, probably our most distinctive warbler species.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st June 2015

    Congratulations to the May picture of the month winner - Alun, for this fascinating picture of an Emperor Moth having just laid its eggs. I'm sure many of us have never even seen an Emperor Moth, let alone have been lucky enough to 'catch it in the act' as it were.


    In Alun's own words:
    This is a photo of a female Emperor Moth, caught in the act of laying her eggs on a rush stem. It was taken on 25th May while out on a recce for a walk for my hiking club with my wife, in open ground to the SW of Barnacullian in the Wicklow Mountains. I'd just crossed a small stream and was waiting for my wife to join me and happened to catch sight of the moth down by my feet out of the corner of my eye, pure chance, and pure luck I didn't stand on her! The weather that day was awful ... quite cold, breezy and misty, and she seemed quite soporific, or maybe she was just concentrating on the task at hand, because it was no trouble moving the stem around for a better shot.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st July 2015

    Congratulations to Bonedigger for the picture(s) of the month from June - a Barn Swallow and a House Martin gathering material for nest-building.



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st August 2015

    Congratulations to Splish for his picture(s) of the month from July - a Comma butterfly and a tiny egg it had just laid.



    In Splish's own words:
    The photo was taken in mid July during a Butterfly Conservation Ireland walk along the River Barrow. We were lucky to spot this female ovipositing female during the walk and had a closer look when she had finished. The precision with which the egg was laid was astonishing as the whole process lasted only a few brief seconds. We had 10 species of butterfly on the walk including some great views of Purple Hairstreaks.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st September 2015

    Congratulations to Keps for his picture of a Moorhen chick - our picture of the month from August.


    In Keps' own words:
    This photo was taken near the weir in Lucan Demesne in late August 2015.
    The moorhens in this section of the Liffey are pretty scarce / elusive and spend much of their time among the reeds /low hanging branches making them difficult to photograph.

    So it was great to see this young moorhen in open display as it practised its walking and swimming skills. I was surprised at how long and ‘chunky’ its legs were!!

    Taken with a Nikon D7000, Nikon 300mm lens @ F2.8, ISO 100 and shutter speed 1/1250

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st October 2015

    Congratulations to Nightforce 65X55 for a great picture of one Starling getting a bit of a telling off from the other at the birdfeeder - our picture of the month from September!


    In Nightforce's own words:
    Starlings are probably the most numerous visitors to my garden , they are real bullies around the feeders and cause quite a racket on arrival.

    They are extremely greedy birds and regularly clear out the feeders , they will eat anything from seed to table scraps , real scavenger's . On first sight they look almost black in appearance but when you look closer they are a colorful bird with a metallic sheen , greens , purples , blues and each of their feathers have a white triangular tip when you look closely.

    I caught these two having an argument over the suet cake in the dish and thought it captured their behavior perfectly . I have only started back into photography this year so it is great to have been picked for Picture of the month . I hope you all enjoy the photos posted by the many photographers on the Site and I for one am great full to Boards for letting us post our photos.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st November 2015

    Congratulations to Obrano for a fantastic close-up of a Red Squirrel - our picture of the month from October.


    In Obrano's own words:
    A big thank you to everyone who thanked this photo. I am always amazed by the quality of the photography in this thread and I am truly delighted that my photo made the cut.

    This shot was taken in Kirroughtree park in the Galloway forest on Scotland's west coast. I think this was the second time I had seen a red squirrel in my life: as we all know too well with numbers decimated in Ireland. There are greys in the area but conservation and eradication programs seem to have benefited the reds with healthy numbers roaming the area.

    Kirroughtry hosts a den and a number of feeders. The squirrels come extremely close and with some luck and speed, you can get a few shots off. I remember the day fondly for the sheer wealth of bird and mammal life in the area. I think I spent an hour observing them but I could have stayed longer.

    Again, thanks to everyone.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 3,068 Mod ✭✭✭✭OpenYourEyes

    1st December 2015

    As autumn turned to winter i was obviously a great time to get out and take squirrel photos - our picture of the month from November is another squirrel, this time a Grey Squirrel locking eyes with the photographer, Keps.


    In his own words:
    I suppose it’s difficult at times to say what ingredients make up a decent photo.

    I had just bought a very reasonably priced second-hand full frame Nikon camera on ebay- and immediately realised I needed a longer lens to compensate for the change in sensor size.

    So, as recommended by a few contributors here( especially Bernard) – on next month’s payday, I went on ebay again – and purchased the Tamron 150mm-600mm lens.

    This photo was taken during a great 2 week window in late Autumn in Lucan Demesne with the previously ‘hiding from view’ Squirrels and Jays making daily appearances as they sought the ripened nuts.

    As well as the ‘what the hell are you looking at’ attitude of the Squirrel here- I think the photo is enhanced by the lovely ‘End of Autumn’ light and leaf colours.

    The photo is taken with a Nikon D600 – with that Tamron lens at 350mm, ISO 1000 and Shutter speed 1/500sec

This discussion has been closed.