|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 1/125th second at f3.5
on Fujichrome Provia 100 film rated at ISO 100 and processed normally; no filters used.
Low angled sunlight about 30 minutes after sunrise, June.
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.
"One summer I decided to spend some time attempting to capture various aspects of the lives of these shy, unassuming birds on film. Basically, this meant spending many hours in a one-metre cube of canvas called a 'hide' (or 'blind') where the temperature inside can vary from 'like being in a refrigerator' to 'like being in a cooker' - and that's just in a single day!
"Most days I would enter the hide around 2.30 a.m. under cover of darkness in order to minimise disturbance to the birds, and also because I especially wanted pictures taken with the warmer colours of low angled, early morning sunlight. This particular image was shot about 30 minutes after sunrise (about 4.45 a.m.). The adult bird was still brooding her two young chicks on the bank of a small island in the middle of an almost equally small lochan. When she was on the alert - maybe due to a skua or another diver flying overhead - she would assume this graceful upward pose so characteristic of Divers."