BIRDWATCHING photographers had entries for a competition judged online for the first time, as members of their club were unable to meet in person to make assessments.

Guildford and District Local Group of the RSPB usually enjoys birdwatching outdoors and holds indoor meetings with illustrated talks.

Not to be outdone by the coronavirus pandemic, more than 60 participants logged in to take part in a photographic competition.

Around 60 photographs taken during the last year were assessed by members, who then voted for their favourite image.

While the votes were counted, the group watched a presentation by author and conservationist Conor Jameson about a rare bird of prey, the goshawk.

Rob Cooke’s portrayal of a misty River Wey secured him first place in the category Landscapes of Britain. Margo Scott’s visit to the Galapagos Islands helped secure the category Wild World with her image of a Nazca Booby silhouetted against the setting sun.

Andrew Kingston came up trumps with his portraits of a Comma butterfly and Waxcap Fungus in the categories Beasts and Beasties in Britain and Flora and Fungi.

Woking member Len Walker’s image of barn owls secured place in the Birds in Britain category and was also winner of the overall picture award, the Koniotes Trophy.

Group leader Margo Scott, also from Woking, said: “It was great to welcome so many of our members online, with everyone rising admirably to the challenge of the new technology.

“I was delighted with the high standard of the entries and the variety of subjects. Congratulations to the worthy winners. The photos, and those from previous years, can be seen on our website and Facebook page, along with more information about our group.”

The group has around 400 members, many from the Woking area. It plans to stream a number of presentations online for members, starting from Wednesday next week, 23 September, with photographer Bill Coster talking about his journey to Antarctica and his stunning photographic portrayals of King Penguins.

For more information about the group and its activities, visit or the RSPB Guildford Facebook page.