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Land of hope and glory! Briatin's beauty captured in nature photos

The stunning images, taken at picturesque spots across the UK, were all contenders in this year's Scottish Nature Photography Festival contest.

These incredible photos of birds, beasts and rugged beaches have been shortlisted in a competition celebrating Britain's beauty.

The stunning images, taken at picturesque spots across the UK, were all contenders in this year's Scottish Nature Photography Festival contest.

Richard Whitson, from Glasgow, came joint first place in the annual competition for his picture of a male stonechat eating a worm in the rain at the Cathkin Marsh Nature Reserve.

Rugged landscape: The rapid waters of the River Cowe in Glencoe captured by Ian Finlayson, from Glasgow

Pit stop: A mountain hare stops for a quick wash on a heather-coated hill in Glenshee. The shot was taken by Stephanie Wilkie, from Dundee

Birding beauty: This photo of a small stonechat sitting in the rain with a grub in its beak was taken in Dorset by Stephanie Wilkie from Dundee

Catherine Clark, from Inverness, was the other first place winner for her picture of a red grouse.

Second place was awarded to Jonathan Gaunt, from Roxburghshire, for his photo of a female eider duck splashing in the water in Northumberland and to Alan Edwards, from Perth, for his picture of a hoverfly in flight.

Louise Black, from Aberdeenshire, won the third prize for her picture of a razorbill at Sumburgh Head, along with John Hunter, from Scotland, who photographed a goldeneye displaying in the Cairngorms.

Other shortlisted entries included a female roe deer at dawn, taken in Northumberland by Jonathan Gaunt, and a misty blue picture of Clachan Sands by Brian Clark, from Fife.

Sea bird: A razorbill swoops over the foaming waters at Sumburgh Head in northern Scotland. The shot, taken by Louise Black from Aberdeenshire, won third place

On the hunt: A female roe deer pictured at dawn in a golden field in Northumberland. The shot was taken by Jonathan Gaunt from Roxburghshire

Scenes from Scotland: Weeds in the River Spey by Jane Hope, from Cairngorms (left) and Clachan Sands by Brian Clark, from Fife (right)

Caught in motion: A common snipe captured taking off at Cathkin Marsh Wildlife Nature Reserve, by Richard Whitson, from Glasgow

Stephanie Wilkie took a picture of a mountain hare washing itself in Glenshee and Aidan Maccormick's photo shows perfect stillness at Glascarnoch in the Highlands.

A picture of the waves at Sennen in Cornwall was taken by Michael Hirst, and Jane Hope, from the Cairngorms, photographed green weeds in the River Spey.

Peter Roberts took a photo of swans arriving in the mist at Shearwater Lake in Wiltshire and Patricia Roberts photographed trapped autumn leaves in ice in Moray.

Mike Hawkins, from Perthshire, photographed an otter family in Lochaber and Bill Terrance, from East Ayrshire, took a picture of a kingfisher with two fish.

Coming in to land: The picture shows swans arriving at Shearwater Lake in the early morning mist in Wiltshire, by Peter Roberts, from Nairn

A perfect stillness: A wintery-looking Loch Glascarnoch in the Highlands was captured by Glasgow-based Aidan Maccormick

Explosive: Waves crash on the rocks at Sennen in Cornwall. The shot was taken by Michael Hirst, from Cornwall

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