Photo of the Week: 1–7 July


Common Swift by Mark Rafter

Swift, Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire (Photo: Mark Rafter)

"So fast, hard to capture" read Mark Rafter's caption accompanying his image of a Common Swift mid-flight. No doubt about that, but Mark has done a great job with this winning shot: not only has he caught the swift in flight but also with bill wide open, ready to catch the unsuspecting fly to the right.

A fast shutter speed is needed for this type of photo, and Mark used 1/2500th second to freeze the action. A 300mm lens with a 1.4× converter has allowed the bird to be followed relatively easily; using a longer and heavier telephoto would have made this a greater challenge. Congratulations to Mark on his winning image.

Incidentally this is the 26th Photo of the Week for 2015; half the year has passed and the countdown begins to Christmas, and of course choosing Photo of the Year! Thanks to everyone for posting their photos on Iris for us all to share, enjoy and admire.

You can read more on bird photography from Steve Young, including product reviews and a regular Photo Challenge for readers, every month in Birdwatch magazine.

Other notable images

Guillemot, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, East Yorkshire (Photo: Tony Conway)

Shag, Farne Islands, Northumberland (Photo: Nick Clayton)

Great Skua
Great Skua, Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland (Photo: Robbie Brookes)

Guillemot, Isle of May, Fife (Photo: Dave Williams)

Northern Wheatear
Northern Wheatear, Wayoh Reservoir, Lancashire (Photo: John Barlow)

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher, undisclosed site, Cambridgeshire (Photo: Garth Peacock)

Red-spotted Bluethroat
Red-spotted Bluethroat, Switzerland (Photo: Jacques Cloutier)

Puffin, Isle of May, Fife (Photo: Dave Williams)

Little Owl
Little Owl, undisclosed site, Suffolk (Photo: John Richardson)

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker, private site, Powys (Photo: Dave Tromans)

Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern, Isle of May, Fife (Photo: Dave Williams)

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl, undisclosed site, Devon (Photo: Steve Hatch)

Sand Martin
Sand Martin, undisclosed site, Glamorgan (Photo: Bob Hopkins)

American Golden Plover
American Golden Plover, Spain (Photo: Samuel Langlois)

Written by: Steve Young