Picture credit: Lee Acaster

The winning image, by amateur photographer Lee Acaster, beat thousands of others to claim the £5,000 top prize.

‘It was a real privilege to have such a close encounter with a wild bird in the very heart of London,’ said Lee, who described it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’.

Lee, who beat professional photographers to take this year’s title, added: ‘I’m just grateful that she didn’t lose interest as quickly as my children do when I’m taking photographs of them.’

Mark Ward, one of the judges, said: ‘The stormy, brooding backdrop set a dramatic scene, while the orange and pink from the bird bring vibrancy to the monochromatic cityscape.

‘Lee’s stunning photograph proves you do not have to travel far from home to capture the very best of Britain’s wildlife images.’

An exhibition of the best shots runs from 2-6 September at the Mall Galleries in London, before embarking on a year-long tour.

To view all the winning images visit www.bwpawards.co.uk