Slideshow: The Irish Photographic Federation National Nature Competition

The winners of the IPF National Nature Competition have been chosen from 73 amateur photographic clubs from across Ireland

The Irish Photographic Federation has named Michael Linehan of Celbridge Camera Club as the overall winner of the 2014/2015 IPF National Nature Competition for his image “Can’t get you out of my Head”, which captures a heron with a fish speared on its beak.

The IPF National Nature Competition is an annual competition open to all members of 73 amateur photographic clubs from across Ireland, and attracts hundreds of entries each year.

Mr Linehan has been photographing birds along the canal in Naas near his home for years, and caught the unique shot in November 2013. “On this particular dull and rainy day I was driving along the canal and spotted the heron at the lock gate,” Linehan explained. “I pulled in and got out my camera, and almost immediately the heron dived into the water and emerged with the pike. There were some people walking a dog coming towards me so I moved in a bit closer and managed to get a few photos before the heron flew to the other side of the canal.”

“Once there, he proceeded to swallow that fish and then catch another pike just a few minutes later. The pike did not put up any struggle so I think that the heron had killed it instantly. Its beak had speared the pike through the top of the head and its eyes look lifeless in the photo. So a lucky day for me... not so lucky for the pike!”