|Photographed from a temporary hide using a Nikon F4s camera with Nikkor 400mm
lens and a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter mounted on a Benbo tripod; taken at about 1/30th second at f8
on Fujichrome Velvia film rated at ISO 50 and processed normally; no filters used.
Low angled sunlight about 45 minutes before sunset, July.
Sutherland, north Scotland.
|The Red-throated Diver is a Schedule I protected breeding species in Britain and the necessary Licence was obtained to photograph at the nest site.|
|The story behind the picture....|
| "The Red-throated Diver is one of my favourite birds, not only
for its wonderful, sleek grey head with red throat-patch and ruby-like eyes
but also because it's calls are some of the most evocative natural sounds to be
heard that remind me of a place I love - the Highlands of Scotland.
Red-throated Divers are essentially water-birds, adapted to pursuing fish underwater, and spend most of their lives at sea. During the brief Scottish summer, they fly inland from the coast to nest on small lochs and lochans, where the water provides the 'runway' from which they can take flight.
"This particular pair were wonderful to work with and were tolerant enough to allow me to set up a second hide on the opposite side of their lochan from one that was used for early morning photography (see another story) - this second hide I then used for late evening photography, so that I could make full use of the 'warmer' low-angled sunlight for the images I wanted.
"Most days I would enter the 'evening' hide about two hours before sunset. I was able to work alone, as once I'd disappeared into the hide, the adult bird usually in attendance with its chick seemed to soon forget I'd been there and would settle back into normal behaviour - usually waiting for the other parent-bird to return with food for the chick. This particular image was shot about 45 minutes before sunset (about 10 p.m) when the wind occasioanlly dropped away completely and the lochan surface became mirror-calm providing some lovely reflections (and, unfortunately, ideal conditions for attack by the infamous Scottish 'midgies'!)."