Stunning Photo of Kingfishers in Flight Wins Sussex Wildlife Trust Photo Calendar Competition

December 8, 2020 Updated: December 8, 2020

A photographer from Pulborough won the 2020 Sussex Wildlife Trust “Into the Wild” photography competition with a stunning photo of two Kingfishers in flight. The image was captured at Warnham Nature Reserve, near Horsham.

The incredible shot, titled “Kingfisher Confrontation,” made the top 12 cut, guaranteeing Michael a slot on the Trust’s 2021 calendar. Once voting opened to the public, his photograph quickly topped the list, and was declared the winner.

The online competition received over 680 entries this year, and judges from the Sussex Wildlife Trust selected the top 12.

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Kingfisher Confrontation. (Courtesy of Michael J Vickers via Sussex Wildlife Trust)

Michael told West Sussex County Times that the shot was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

“I took the photograph at Warnham Nature Reserve, near Horsham,” he said. “I’d been a regular visitor, seeking to photograph this stunning bird. On this occasion, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, when one male kingfisher aggressively confronted another, who had been quietly watching the water.”

The Sussex Wildlife Trust will feature all 12 finalists’ photographs in their 2021 online calendar, which they plan to launch this month. The Trust will also feature photographs on social media and in their member magazine.

As the lead finalist, Michael was offered an opportunity to do a week-long Instagram takeover of the Trust’s Instagram account.

The photographer told Sussex Wildlife Trust, “As a child I grew up with pets and I enjoyed photographing animals from a young age. I was given a Box Brownie camera and it all started from there.”

He added that birds in flight are one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, and that he’s practiced extensively photographing barn owls and other birds as they soar through the air.

Michael hopes that his photography will generate greater appreciation for nature, raise awareness for wildlife conservation efforts, and lead people to support conservation organizations.

“I offer my images to a number of conservation-based organizations,” he said. “I have often taken photos of wildlife in India, as I have a particular interest in tiger conservation. Some of my photos have been used to support wildlife there—on posters for a campaign against poaching, mainly tigers, which were used in all the major airports.”

Here are the other 11 winners of the Into the Wild photography competition:

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A Twist in Time. (Courtesy of Richard French via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Jumping Spider. (Courtesy of Matthew Hamer via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Ant and Aphids. (Courtesy of Paul Boyland via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Blending In. (Courtesy of Wayne Turner via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Friday Night Fox. (Courtesy of Sean Stones via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Neon Lace. (Courtesy of Alan Owen via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Oystercatchers. (Courtesy of John Lauper via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Stare Down. (Courtesy of Jamie Fielding via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Starling. (Courtesy of Lloyd Lane via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Swallow Feeding Young. (Courtesy of Phil Winter via Sussex Wildlife Trust)
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Tawny Owl. (Courtesy of Wayne Turner via Sussex Wildlife Trust)

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