THE work of four local photographers has caught the eye of judges in a national competition.

Suzanne Maitland from Galashiels, David Wolfenden from Melrose, Colin McLean from Peebles, and Sean Fraser from West Linton have impressed the judges for the Scottish Seabird Centre’s Nature Photography Awards.

The Seabird Centre has announced the finalists in its ninth annual competition and 10 images from Borders’ photographers have reached the shortlist.

Suzanne has been shortlisted in World Flora with Droplet; David has been shortlisted in Scottish Wildlife with Winter Hare and in Creative Visions of Nature with Clockface, Redshank Roost and Predated; Colin has been shortlisted in the Landscape category with Laidhe Dawn and Scottish Wildlife with Gannets Displaying; while Sean features in the Junior 12-16 category with Thistle in a Meadow, Sunset Silhouette and Field of Sunflowers.

Suzanne Maitland said: “My image of a water droplet on a flower bud was taken in the gardens at Abbotsford House, Melrose. It’s a place I love to visit and was delighted to capture this moment.” The Scottish Seabird Centre’s prestigious awards attracted 435 entries and more than 100 stunning images, including the striking shots taken by David, Colin, Suzanne and Sean, are now on display in the Centre with the public invited to vote for their favourites.

The panel of judges featured Lorne Gill, award-winning official photographer from Scottish Natural Heritage, outstanding freelance photographer Graham Riddell and Scottish Field editor Richard Bath.

David Wolfenden said: “For my image Winter Hare I had been watching a pair of mountain hare for some time and once they settled I did a long crawl to get this 'close encounter’. Slow retreat. Forty minutes. Very cold. Very happy. Thank you Grampians!

“In the Creative Visions of Nature category Clockface is a dandelion on St Abbs Head on a windy morning in early June; Predated is the detail from a guillemot’s egg and Redshank Roost was taken in late October.” The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Scottish Seabird Centre on Thursday, February 26. Winning photographers have the opportunity to secure prizes including trips to the Isle of May National Nature Reserve with SNH photographer Lorne Gill; memberships for the Scottish Seabird Centre and Scottish Wildlife Trust; vouchers for Northshots Photography and day-long wildlife trips courtesy of Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions.

Richard Bath, magazine editor and judge for the awards, said: “It was really tough deciding on the shortlist, and David, Colin, Suzanne and Sean have done really well. There were a huge number of beautiful and creative images which the public now have the opportunity to see in the exhibition – I’m sure they will find them both thought-provoking and inspiring. I hope as many people as possible head to the exhibition to vote for their favourites.” For further information on the Scottish Seabird Centre Nature Photography Awards visit