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Scottish Nature Festival
These remarkable photos of Britain’s birds, beasts and beaches have been shortlisted in a competition to celebrate nature photography.

The stunning images of pine martens and puffins, gulls and grouse, deer and dolphins were all contenders in this year’s Scottish Nature Photography Festival contest. Two black rooks courting in Northumberland by Jonathan Gaunt, from Roxburghshire and two hares chasing through the snow at twilight in the Cairngorms by Catherine Clark from Inverness were picked as the winning photos in the annual competition.

Second place was awarded to Jackie Walker, from Scotland for her photo of Artic Terns feeding and to Brian Clark, from Fife, for his serene photo of evening light on The Summer Isles. A photo of European Pine Martens snuggled on a branch in Argyll by Sandra Price and a beautiful seascape at Kingsbarns in Fife by Brian Clark, won the third prize.

Other shortlisted entries include Black grouse fighting in the Cairngorms by Rosamund Macfarlane from Cumbria and a gull flying through a glittering sky on the Moray Coast by David Devonport. A red deer herd can be seen on the Scottish Highlands on a misty morning in a photo by Sandra Price, from Argyll, whilst Shelley Knight’s picture shows a deer in a snow storm in the Cairngorms.Two mountain hares are pictured boxing in Strathdearn in a photo by Raymond Leinster, from Perth and a bottlenose dolphin jumps out the water in Moray Firth in a picture by Catherine Clark, from Inverness.

Catherine was also shortlisted for her close-up of a cheeky-looking puffin in Lunga in the Treshnish Isles, whilst a photo of salmon leaping in Stirlingshire gained recognition for Neil MacGregor, from Dunbartonshire.

Competition judge Mark Hamblin, a director of The Wild Media Foundation which runs the festival, said: “This year’s entries into the Scottish Nature Photography Festival competition gave us a bit of a headache, such was the quality of images it was difficult to select the short-list let alone the top three photographs. But after a good deal of deliberation we settled on Jonathan Guant’s picture of a pair of rooks displaying in the snow as the winner on Saturday. An image that oozed quality with beautiful feather detail and an example of what can be achieved with a common subject. Sunday’s winner of two mountain hareschasing by Catherine Clark was captured in stunning winter light, the white fur of the animals contrasting wonderfully with the cool blue shadowy snow. “Brain Clark also deserves special mention for his two atmospheric landscape images that were judged in 2nd and 3rd place.”

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