Photo of the Week: 22-28 January 2024


Great Northern Diver by Jonathan Ford



It's been another inclement winter in north-west Europe, with the ninth and tenth named storms of the winter – Isha and Jocelyn – battering our shores during the course of the past week. Such conditions make life tough for our coastal and maritime birds, as evidenced by this hardy Great Northern Diver riding the waves off the coast of Papa Westray, Orkney, which was brilliantly framed by Jonathan Ford.

High seas always make for dynamic bird photography, but good light is an essential to ensure a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action sufficiently. In this case, Jonathan has used ISO 640 and an aperture of f7.1 to give a shutter speed of 1/1600, which was just enough to frame this fantastic scene of the diver breaking through the surf. Of course, with so many variables in play, there is an element of luck in creating such a well-composed image as this, but full credit must go to Jonathan for sticking with it in what must have been fairly testing conditions to keep the camera still, let alone nail the shot!


Other notable images


Common Buzzard, undisclosed site, Lincolnshire (Nigel @awecology).

Short-eared Owl, Bury, Greater Manchester (Martin Loftus).

Purple Sandpiper, Arbroath, Angus & Dundee (Alex Shepherd).

Water Rail, Woods Mill SWT, West Sussex (Colin Holter).

Mediterranean Gull, Gibraltar, Gibraltar (Robert Perez).

Hawfinch, Bramfield, Hertfordshire (Steven Brown).

Tenerife Blue Chaffinch, Tenerife, Tenerife (Fergal Stanley).

Waxwing, Romsey, Hampshire (Ian Wells).

Magpie, Ferry Meadows CP, Cambridgeshire (John Atkins).

St Lucia Warbler, Anse Chastanet, St Lucia (Dave Jackson).

Cirl Bunting, Stolford, Somerset & Bristol (Carl Bovis).

Written by: BirdGuides