Golden Nightjar by Peter Stronach
A stunning image of a flying Golden Nightjar takes the honours this week. This is a difficult species to see, let alone photograph as well as this – to see what I mean, check the number of images posted on BirdGuides, or give it a quick search on Google!
This mysterious species was first documented in the Western Palearctic as recently as May 2015 (see here), with small numbers seen in Western Sahara and northern Mauritania subsequently. It takes a lot of effort to locate them singing at night, so to find a day-roosting bird must have been a phenomenal experience for Peter Stronach. The desert backdrop fits the bird perfectly and the photographer has grabbed his opportunity with both hands as the bird glided by.
Shooting with a 400 mm lens at 1/2000th second, Peter used only ISO 500 (that wonderful desert light!) to capture the moment as the nightjar flew past, perfectly turning its head towards the camera. Congratulations to Peter on his winning image; an exceptional photograph of an exceptional bird.
Despite the truly awful weather, the year is flying by and we already find ourselves a third of the way through 2018. I look forward to the weather improving and seeing your summery shots in the coming weeks.
Other notable images
Yellow Wagtail, Paphos, Cyprus (Mike Nesbitt).
Collared Pratincole, Akrotiri Salt Lake, Cyprus (Matthew Smith).
Great Bustard, Villalpando, Spain (Marc FASOL).