The Photo of the Month is a year round calendar of selected nature images and stories with contributions from visitors, fellow photographers and friends.
When it comes to nature photography, it's not only those fascinating tales of high adventure that often accompany talent and skill for a fabulous result. If a picture is truly worth more than a thousand words then a well-timed shot, or a well framed one, can say just as much about you as a photographer too! So if you'd like to showcase one of your pictures here, free for one calendar month with a short story on how you managed to come by it, then this page is for you.
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A Shot Called Wonder by Roger Cox
Epping Forest, Walthamstow, London
Nature is full of wonders. Many of which we never see on account of being too busy to take the time. Some stay hidden while others, regarded as commonplace, are taken for granted, and yet special moments occur throughout the natural world every day, and in plain sight.
So you might think that with 3.6 million blue tits in Britain, they’d be little chance of finding anything unique or unusual about them. However, the blue tit is one of six non-migratory British birds* to have blue in its plumage, and then only one of three with a blue tail, wings and cap! A distinction uncommon enough to see why many of us find their beautiful mixture of blue, white, yellow and green so fascinating.
When airborne out in the open; wings beating within the blink of an eye, a few short bursts of undulating flight is all we see of them, and yet there’s more to them than meets the eye. They’re remarkably aerobatic, executing tumbles, twists and turns on every approach to a smart landing - a surprising feat for such a small bird with a stocky body, and one that can only be appreciated using high-speed video or photography.
It’s startling that for 1/3200th of a second we can see one of nature’s wonders revealed along a journey that’s taking us generations to discover them! Though how many special moments and shots like this I miss every day is still a mystery, if not a wonder.
*Mallard, magpie, jay, nuthatch and kingfisher are the only other resident UK birds with blue in their plumage. Chaffinch excluded from list as blue/grey colouration in males is seasonal only.