Nidderdale bird photograph in top five

A photograph of a Meadow Pipit taken in Nidderdale has won praise in a regional competition.

By Janet Harrison
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 3:07 pm

The picture, taken on Dallowgill Moor by Mollie Lord, was one of just five top places earned in the Northern Pennines Moorland Group wildlife photography contest.

The winning image of a Cuckoo taken by keen photographer Ryan Williams from Manchester in the Northern Pennines, was among entries submitted from all over the north of England and show the variety of native wildlife thriving in upland areas.

Kerry Woodhouse of the Northern Pennines Moorland Group said: “The North Pennine moors are home to a wide range of rare birds as well as moorland mammals, reptiles, plants and insects.

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“This image shows the link between providing good habitat for plants which the caterpillars eat and they in turn provide food for the Cuckoo.”

The Cuckoo is red-listed in the UK due to a declining population and arrives from Africa in late March or April each year.

Cuckoos famously lay their eggs in other birds’ nests for the unsuspecting parent to rear with their own chicks.

The most common ‘victims’ of this practice are Meadow Pipits, Dunnocks or Reed Warblers. Cuckoos eat insects and invertebrates, with hairy caterpillars being a particular favourite, as pictured in Ryan Williams’ image.

The other photos which captured the judges’ imagination include a Barn Owl photographed in the Peak District by Tammy Mellor, a Meadow Pipit pictured on Dallowgill Moor, Nidderdale, by Mollie Lord, a Short-Eared Owl photographed by Richard Bailey in the Peak District and a Sea Eagle taken by Jason Ferdinando in the North York Moors.

Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association said: “The beauty of our native wildlife is captured in these delightful images.

“Moorlands managed sustainably for Red Grouse are the best place to see a wide variety of rare birds, as well as rare plants, insects, adders and mammals.”