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Monday, September 26, 2011

The snap that out-foxed the rest: Teenager's stunning wildlife image lands national prize


Yawning sleepily after a nap on a bed of straw, this remarkable image of a fox is one any photographer would be proud of.

But when you consider the individual behind the lens was a mere 16 years old, it makes the photo all the more impressive.

Oliver Wilks won an award in the youth section of the Wildlife Photography Awards for his photo captured at Warnham Nature Reserve, Sussex.

Jaw-dropper: Oliver Wilks captured the exact moment a fox opened its mouth to yawn in his award-winning photograph

The teenager also received a £500 prize for his efforts.

Describing the moment he caught the fox mid-yawn, Oliver told the Daily Express: 'Patiently I watched, waiting for him to wake up.

'He did and I captured in this shot the moment when he showed me his brilliant white teeth as he yawned and stretched.

'I think the autumnal lighting complements the red of the fox, giving great warmth and depth to the image.'

Oliver was not the only youngster to dazzle the judges with his efforts.

Walter Lovell, aged just eight, was awarded £300 for his wonderful image of a frog keeping watch over its spawn.

He said: 'It was a sunny day and I went down to the end of my garden to the pond.

Merging into the mire: Walter Lovell, eight, showed admirable patience to get this picture of a frog looking protectively at its spawn in a pond

Starlings settling in a tree against a stunning sky helped land David Biggs the Urban Wildlife prize

'I lay down and tried not to scare the frogs.

'I waited there for about 20 minutes and there were about 10 frogs poking their heads in and out the water.

'I then saw the perfect picture of a frog and its frogspawn and I took a picture of it.'

In the Urban Wildlife secion, the winning picture was taken by David Biggs, who captured birds flying in to roost at sunset.

Competition judge Paul Wilkinson, head of living landscapes at the Wildlife Trusts, said: 'This year's entries reflected a real passion, and affection, for local wildlife.

'This competition is a special opportunity to give the natural world that surrounds us the recognition and reverence it deserves.'

I'm off: This wonderful image captures a young grey heron appearing to walk on water as it dashes away with its catch

Underwater magic: Richard Shucksmith's wonderful picture of a jellyfish scooped the top £5,000 prize at the awards

This stark image by Neil Aldridge, left, was entitled 'It's Only A Game'. Ross Hoddinott's image of a sunflower with an insect crawling over it, right, was also commended

Regal pose: Mark Smith's dramatic entry shows a fallow deer in the early morning mist

Dwarfed by the green expanse around it, this scorpion fly rests on a leaf in this image taken by Leslie Holburn

Water view: This split level image of Llyn Idwal in Snowdonia was taken by Graham Eaton



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