01/09/2014 05:02 BST | Updated 01/09/2014 05:59 BST

The British Wildlife Photography Awards Winners

An "extraordinary" shot of a greylag goose under a stormy London sky has won this year's British Wildlife Photography Awards.

The picture, by Lee Acaster from Wortham, Suffolk, captures the goose in close-up by the Thames with part of the London skyline, including the Shard, in the background.

The shot beat thousands of entries in the annual photographic awards to win the urban wildlife category of the competition and scoop the top prize of £5,000 for the overall winning image.

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Acaster said of his picture: 'It was a real privilege to have such a close encounter with a wild bird in the very heart of London.

"I vividly remember the excitement I felt as she patiently waited for me to get the shot, and I knew immediately this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I'm just grateful that she didn't lose interest as quickly as my children do when I'm taking photographs of them."

Competition judge Mark Ward, editor-in-chief at the RSPB's Nature's Home magazine, said: "The winning photograph shows a familiar bird in a familiar setting, but the visual impact is extraordinary.

"The stormy, brooding backdrop sets 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."

Striking images of a shag resting, a puffin in the jaws of an otter, a gannet breeding colony, Scottish woodland, a close-up of a seal's claw and a telephone box being reclaimed by nature are among the winning photographs.

Prizes were awarded in 16 categories including for a documentary series of pictures, which was won with a portfolio of images of hazel dormouse monitoring in Somerset, and a seasons category won by photos of hares in Derbyshire through the seasons.

In the junior categories, 11-year-old William Bowcutt from Leicestershire won top prize for a photograph by a youngster under 12 with his image of a dipper with grubs, taken in Dumfries, Scotland.

A head-on shot of a fox on the prowl in South London won the 12 to 18-year-old category for 16-year-old Joshua Burch, from Carshalton, Sutton.

And Year 5 and 6 pupils at Michael Drayton Junior School, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, won the school award for a series of pictures including a ladybird and bluebells.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham said: "Every year the British Wildlife Photography Awards generates an incredible catalogue of splendid, exciting, imaginative and artistic images, proving beyond doubt that we have the richest palette of life to celebrate in our own backyard.

"Anyone passionate about protecting and preserving wildlife will be inspired by the British Wildlife Photography Awards, which in its fifth year has done more than any other award to raise the profile of British wildlife."