A British photographer spent two weeks befriending huge ‘Dalmatian Pelicans’ to get these incredible close-up pictures of the pre-historic looking birds. Sean Weekly, 28, snapped the “charismatic” troupe of the largest members of the pelican family in a pristine lake surrounded by the stunning snow-capped mountains. Mr Weekly, from Sittingbourne, Kent, braved freezing temperatures on a boat every morning to take these beautiful shots of the birds soaring above Lake Kerkini in Northern Greece. He would take close-up shots of them showing off their unique head-feather “hair styles” later in the day using a shore-line feed to draw in the large avians. The Dalmatian Pelicans which are often mistaken for the Great White Pelican and weigh about 10kg are identified by their curly nape feathers, grey legs and silvery-white plumage. Mr Weekly said: “They have some amazing head feathers which gives these birds their own personal hair style. “They are so full of personality and character and ultimately are stunningly photogenic to look a lot. “The conditions on the lake itself offered some beautiful scenery with towering snow capped mountains and rolling clouds and because of this beautiful environment I tried to include the scenery a lot in my photos […] Read more! This perfectly-timed photo shows a stunning barn owl – with a BUTTERFLY on its head. Rob Bates, 34, took the photo of the bird of prey when it landed on a hay bail just 20ft away. He noticed a butterfly flapping around the owl’s head – and waited patiently for the perfect shot, in Bridlington, Yorkshire. Rob, a tattoo artist, from Aston, Sheffield, said: “I was on a bird of prey photography workshop. “Everyone took a few shots then moved onto the next bird, while the owl still stood there. “Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed something flying around it. “It was a beautiful butterfly so I re-positioned myself and waited for the perfect shot. “This butterfly looked as though it was almost attracted to the owl as it wouldn’t leave it alone, flying around its head, while the owl wasn’t bothered at all. “Then just about when I thought it was going to leave, the sun shone through and as it went to land on the owls head I took the shot, giving me shot of the day. “Goes to show persistence pays off.” Read more! A photographer had his head in the clouds when he captured these enchanting images showing stars glittering above a town blanketed in mist. Jan Sedlacek, 38, trekked 300 metres up the Malvern Hills to photograph the fog which settled over the town of Great Malvern as temperatures plunged below freezing. But he was in for a surprise when he climbed above the cloud cover to see thousands of stars glistening overhead. He captured a series of stunning images which almost appear out of this world. Jan, who is completely self-taught, said: “I was up there in the stars and felt like I was touching the universe. “I’ve spent any years photographing the area and so I knew it was a great place to observe the mist blanketing the whole valley. “What I didn’t expect was to see was the stars above the mist which just look spectacular. “You could see the town disappearing behind the clouds and the stars were shining so brightly. “I was amazed to capture such a dramatic and pretty atmospheric picture.” Jan climbed 300 metres up North Hill, which towers over Great Malvern, Worcs., at the weekend. He was three-quarters of the way up the peak […] Read more! Huddled freezing underneath Niagara Falls, this shot of an ice-encrusted building has won an international photo competition. And photographer Mark Duffy, from Canada, also bagged second place with this awesome storm rolling across the plains of Saskatchewan province near his home. His pics came top in the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers’ Power of Nature competition. Third place went to Bosnian Inga Cvijanovich with a flooded orthodox church in Doboj. Mark said of the storm shot, taken near his home: “I was south of Moose Jaw and there was a little something there that kept me chasing and a roll cloud started to develop. “As I watched, the roll cloud turned into an incredible shelf cloud so I tried to stay ahead of it and position myself along the Trans Canada Highway and find a anchor or foreground so I raced to a row of granaries at Pense. “Luckily the shelf cloud was intensifying and at its peak at Pense – major energy – so I parked to use my truck to block the wind and set up my tripod and camera and shot the picture.” Of his winning picture, he added: “It was an unusually freezing winter […] Read more! This striking portrait of a young camouflaged solder has scooped a top prize in a prestigious competition which captures the unseen scenes of British Army life. The incredible photo of a soldier’s piercing stare was taken by Sgt Jonathan van Zyl, 35, an infantry soldier turned professional Army snapper. It won the ‘best overall image’ out of the 780 photos entered into the annual prestigious British Army Photographic Competition. Father-of-two Jonathan, who lives in Andover, said: “It was one of those moments; you just saw it and you took it. “It wasn’t planned or anything, but it works. I think it’s the soldier’s eyes, looking into his eyes, it draws you into it.” The portrait was taken during Exercise Northern Strike in America. Jonathan, previously in the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, was an infantry soldier for 11 years, based in Germany until two years ago. Other winners included a revealing series of photos showing the highs and lows of life as a Sandhurst cadet, during a grueling year of initial training. Taken by Bombardier Murray Kerr, 45, from Glasgow, they scooped the Best Amateur Portfolio category. One shows cadets with shields and batons in what appears to […] Read more! This is the awesome moment a paragliding world champion lives out his lifelong dream to fly among a huge flock of birds. Horacio Llorens, 35, joined thousands of starlings which took to the skies during Denmark’s ‘Black Sun’ – an impressive avian phenomenon which takes place every Autumn. The huge flock of migrational starlings took off as the sky dimmed, and the Spaniard flew his electric powered paraglider alongside them. Horacio said: “To be a bird is a dream. It’s why I paraglide, because I feel as a bird when I’m flying. “Usually you can fly close to three or four birds. But being able to fly with thousands of them is just a unique opportunity.” Horacio has dreamed of flying with birds since he took up the sport 17-years-ago. He and his team were granted permission from Denmark’s Ministry of Environment for this stunt and leading ornithologists were on hand to ensure the safety of the birds. Horacio added: “I really don’t want to disturb the birds, I just want to try to fly with them and feel as a part of the flock. “Try to be one of them for a little while, you know? Even just for […] Read more! This fascinating image of a tiny insect living under a massive mushroom has won an amateur photographer a major photography award. Duncan McNaught, 54, picked up the Royal Society of Biology photography award after snapping the unusual picture. The image — titled Welcome to My Humble Abode — shows a tiny toadstool, no bigger than the size of a small teacup, with a small bug inside. Duncan, who lives in Glenlee, Dumfries and Galloway, ventures to the forests near his home to capture his nature pictures – and has a particular love of toadstools. He believes the insect to be around two millimetres in height and thinks it lives within the gills of the fungi. He said: “Living in rural Dumfries and Galloway I have access to some amazing landscapes. “But it’s the smaller often overlooked plants and insects that really spark the creative photographer in me. “I like to do something different. A lot of people are doing landscape photos and it’s becoming a bit boring. “It’s the small nature things that attract me, and toadstools are just beautiful at this time of year. “Some of the forests in my area are pretty inaccessible due to their wet boggy […] Read more! A picture of a pair of flies in the throes of love has won an international photography competition. The snap, taken by Irish photographer Larry Doherty scooped the top prize in the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers’ Spirit of Nature competition. Other runners up included pics of diving kingfishers, a polar bear on the ice a colourful portrait of a green tree python and a black kite carrying a struggling lapwing in Bangladesh. Photographer Larry said: “I take macro photos of insects all the time. I like to show the insects under our feet. A lot of people don’t even see this part of our wildlife or dismiss it. “These flies were on a sycamore tree trunk. The hardest part was making sure I got the two flies heads’ in focus.” Runner up was retired magistrate Anne Woodington from Guernsey with a breathtaking shot of a polar bear just yards away. She said: “The picture was taken in the pack ice somewhere considerably north of Svalbard, Norway. “We were in a small rib and got out to stand on a small ice floe in the middle of the ocean with floes all around but no land in sight. […] Read more! Campaigners from 38 Degrees and Surfers Against Sewage beach a boat made from thousands of plastic bottles outside Parliament. This is part of a 250,000 strong petition hand-in that asks the government to introduce a small, refundable deposit on all plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans. Read more! These adorable photos show a proud mother gorilla gently cradling her precious newborn baby. The three-day-old endangered western lowland gorilla was snapped clinging on to its mother, a 22-year-old female. The tiny primate was born to mum Miliki and silverback dad Bukavu in the early hours of Tuesday morning at Blackpool Zoo. Delighted keepers say the baby appears healthy but sightings have so far been rare as it remains hidden from view as it builds up its strength and coordination. Miliki showed her tender side as she was photographed nurturing her baby days after giving birth following a natural and uncomplicated labour. The pair will be kept under close observation over the coming weeks by keepers who have yet discovered if the new arrival is a boy or a girl. Peter Dillingham, Animal Manager at Blackpool Zoo, said “We are delighted to share the news of the birth of our gorilla. “This is Bukavu’s third child and Miliki’s second so they have already proven that they are great parents. “We won’t find out the sex until the baby starts to move around more, as we are leaving everything to mum. “It has been wonderful to watch Meisie and Moanda grow up together and they have both been over to have a look […] Read more! These stunning photographs shed a neon light on one of the biggest electronics market in the world. The cyberpunk-themed pictures of China’s answer to Silicon Valley capture futuristic Blade Runner-like scenes in Shenzhen’s Huaqiangbei District. London-based graphic designer Marcus Wendt, 34, said: “A lot of these were shot in difficult to access locations, for example semi-private car parks and back alleys.” He fought jetlag and was inspired by ‘isometric’ views of the city’s neon lights to create “slightly alien and uncanny atmospheres” like early 1990s cyperpunk games. “I think I’m after capturing this alien-ness in the pictures, an interesting and exciting world. “The night transforms everything, and neon light give you this really new way of lighting everything. “The heavily distorted colours and also tweaking the perspectives of the images in subtle ways so that you have these improbably isometric arrangements,” said Mr Wendt. “With digital image making, you always have to add, you have to create from nothing. In photography, it’s the opposite way. “The attractive thing is that you still have the underlying reality, but this is a way of creating new images rather than documenting what you find.” Read more! London Council Estate Photography The Grenfell Tower Fire disaster has brought attention to London’s council estates, which house its poorest residents. SWNS’s very own Joe Newman has visited many of London’s biggest council estates and is always drawn to the community spirit. Normally our award winning SWNS snappers are taking photos for the national media, doing anything they can to blend in and stay anonymous. However, this week the tables were turned after Joe’s photo collection was featured on the BBC website, with Joe taking part in an interview looking at his study of London’s council estates. Following the Grenfell Tower Fire, London’s high-rise council houses are in sharp focus, You can listen to Joe’s full interview with the BBC here! During the interview Joe said he was struck be ‘A Real Community Spirit’ in some of the blocks, which house some of London’s poorest people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Joe happens to live near one of the blocks and says he’d love to live in the building if he had the chance. If you are interested in seeing more of Joe’s work, you can see a few more of Joe’s images on his gallery page and discover other ways of seeing […] Read more! Britain’s smallest puppy has defied all the odds by surviving despite weighing just 2.5oz at birth and standing smaller than a can of IRN BRU. Seven-week-old Yorkshire terrier pup Tim was born lifeless and not breathing and owner Andrea Mcgowan, 42, battled to revive the pooch by rubbing him with a towel. Thankfully the tiny terrier, who was a pup from a litter of six, came back to life with a few gasps of air. However, teeny Tim wasn’t out of the woods and was too weak to feed from his mum, Dolly. Owner Andrea had to take over and spent weeks bottle-feeding him every two hours to make him strong enough to survive. Andrea, of Bolton Lancs., said: “That was horrendous because it was so tiring and I was constantly worrying about him getting dehydrated if I missed a feed. “And then after the feed I had to wind him then rub his belly to make him poo and wee.” Mother-of-three Andrea said rearing the sickly pup was harder work than raising her own children because it was more difficult knowing what he needed. But Tim was more fortunate than one of his brothers, who sadly only survived a […] Read more! SWNS photographer Adam Gray got his rewards after getting out early on the coldest day of the year. Early risers were greeted with a crisp and frosty morning as temperatures dropped overnight. Read more!