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SNH Announce Isle of May Photo Competition Winners

By Philpickin @philpickin

SNH announce Isle of May photo competition winners

Isle of May 2016 photo contest -Mario Suarez - winning photo

The winners of a photography competition, to celebrate the Isle of May’s 60th anniversary as a national nature reserve last year, have been announced by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).A stunning picture, taken by Mario Suárez Porras of Spain, of one of the island’s most numerous birds, an Artic tern, took first prize went to with his picture of an Arctic tern.Lorne Gill, SNH’s photographer, led the judging panel. He said, “We chose Mario’s winning image, as it’s a beautiful photo that captures the essence of the seabirds on the Isle of May NNR. Arctic terns fly thousands of miles from the southern oceans to breed here in the Firth of Forth. They are the first birds that visitors encounter as they arrive on the island, usually mobbing them as they make their way towards the visitor centre, giving the impression that they are boisterous birds.“So it was lovely to see Mario’s image of a serene-looking tern resting amongst the sea campion – a bird at one with its world. Mario’s carefully composed image, taken in lovely soft light, with a blurred foreground of white flowers and clean background, achieved through his choice of a ground’s eye view, created our winning image."Runners-up were Neil Grant from Balerno with his atmospheric image of the island during a storm, and Jens Cullman of Germany who took a beautifully composed picture of a puffin coming into land.David Steel, SNH’s manager on the island, said, “Last year, we marked 60 years since the island became a national nature reserve. The photography competition was a great way to celebrate the island’s landscape and wildlife – and encourage people to come and enjoy some of Scotland’s best-known wildlife close-up. We were thrilled to receive nearly 70 entries.”

SNH announce Isle of May photo competition winners

Isle of May 2016 photo contest - Luke Hollis 8 to 11 winner

The winner of the 8-to-11 age group was Luke Hollis from Glasgow who took a panoramic view of the island, with Keir Skilling from Dumfries winning the 12-to-15 age group with his beautifully simple image of the main lighthouse in silhouette.

SNH announce Isle of May photo competition winners

Isle of May 2016 photo contest - Keir Skilling 12 to 15 winner

Mario’s prize is a two-day stay on the island this summer. The runners-up and the younger winners each receive a VIP day trip to the island.The winning photos and 10 other highly commended ones will be on display in the Main Lighthouse on the island this summer, with a further exhibition planned at SNH’s Battleby Conference Centre near Perth.It’s free to visit the nature reserve, but you must take a boat trip to reach the island. The island is open to visitors from spring to early autumn. Sailings are on the privately-run May Princess or Osprey of Anstruther from the Anstruther Harbour or through the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.

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