Summer Swifts

Judith Wakelam 04
Mastery of the Skies by Judith Wakelam

Hopefully many of you have been able to visit the Museum over the summer to admire the incredible images in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. If you haven’t yet seen the inquisitive lion or the mysterious elephants, don’t leave it too long; it’s only on display until 22nd September.

Mastery of the Skies on display in the Museum
Mastery of the Skies on display in the Museum

Today we’ve had a new addition to the spectacular collection of photographs. Mastery of the Skies by Judith Wakelam (above) will sit alongside these international competition winners. Judith’s photograph was chosen as the winner of the Museum’s own Summer Swifts competition, a challenge inspired by the display of the WPY exhibition here.

Photographing swifts is particularly difficult – they are small birds which fly very quickly and almost never stop to rest. Although the competition received some excellent entries, the judges felt that Judith Wakelam’s image really captured the character and dynamism of a swift in flight, showing some motion but still retaining enough clarity to easily see the bird’s face.

Here are the other Summer Swifts competition entries, so you can see for yourself how high the standard was.

Mark Garrett
Mark Garrett
Martine Tenret 2
Martine Tenret
Tom Nicholson-Lailey
Neil Downing 3
Neil Downing
Nick Owen
Nick Owen
Stephen Powles
Stephen Powles
Klaus Roggel
Klaus Roggel
Chris Powles
Chris Powles
Maciej Szymański 1
Maciej Szymański
Gordon Bowdery
Gordon Bowdery
Henk Haans
Henk Haans
Ingolf Grabow
Ingolf Grabow

The Museum’s own colony of swifts has had a good summer and there’s now just one little chick left to fledge. We’ll all miss their distinctive screech as they soar around the Museum tower. Fortunately, Mastery of the Skies will keep the memory of high summer alive in the museum well into September.

Rachel Parle, Interpretation and Education Officer

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More than a Dodo

I'm Public Engagement Manager at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and I look after permanent displays and other interpretation. I do a bit of social media on the side, too.

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