Category winners include an image of moss against the sunset, a close-up of a meat fly and a jumping spider with a freshly caught butterfly, according to a press release from the British Ecological Society.
The overall winning image of a Kumlien’s Seagull Eye was taken by Rebecca Nason, based in Lerwick, on the Isle of Shetland, off the coast of Scotland.
Nason described how she saw Kumlien’s Gull as she fed herring gulls with bread.
Rebecca Nason won the all-around with this photo of a Kumlien seagull.
Rebecca Nason / British Ecological Society
“I started photographing the detail of the eye, noting a beautiful granite-colored iris with dark speckled plumage details around the eye,” Nason said in a press release. “It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the speckled patterns were actually lice clustered around the eye, Kumlien’s seagull hadn’t traveled alone.”
Jane Memmott, President of the British Ecological Society, praised the level of entries into the competition.
“The winner is a beautifully composed photograph of a seagull’s eye – it’s visually striking, very crisp and very beautiful, including the hitchhiking lice,” Memmott said in the statement.
A jury of six photographers selected the winning images from six categories, along with eight other highly regarded images.
The photos include images of a red snail feeding on a fungus in India, a recently discovered insect that lives in caves in Spain, and a green lynx spider with a bumblebee it just caught.
“Green Lynx Spiders are majestic but voracious predators,” said photographer Dani Davis, who won the Global Student Award for the picture. “With a quick bite, the lynx can overpower its bulky prey and feast in peace.”
Dani Davis captured the moment a green lynx spider caught a bumblebee.
Dani Davis / British Ecological Society
Laura Dyer, a South African wildlife photographer who was on the jury, said the winning photos showcased completely different styles of photography and praised the competition’s impact on conservation efforts.
“Photography of wildlife and nature is so vital today, as it helps highlight parts of the natural world that would otherwise remain hidden from view of most of us,” Dyer said.
“And it is only by seeing the beauty of nature that we will be inspired to protect and conserve it.”
A virtual collection featuring the images is available on the British Ecological Society website.