Photo of the Week: 4-10 March 2024


Goosander by Mark Darling



Mark Darling has captured this striking image of a young male Goosander, a species that is becoming increasingly widespread across Britain's lakes and rivers. There is little doubt that an adult male Goosander is among the most eye-catching of all wildfowl in Britain and Ireland, yet the more muted female-type plumage has an understated beauty all of its own.

Goosander is a member of the 'sawbill' family, named for their long, narrow saw-like bills used to catch and grip slippery fish. The species' beautiful, sleek plumage belies its role as an apex predator of lakes and rivers – a fact that is expertly demonstrated here thanks to the serrated bill and its razor-sharp lamellae, which draw the eye of the beholder right into the bird's mouth. Strikingly, these look surprisingly similar to dinosaur teeth, giving the Goosander an air of the prehistoric.

The super-low angle taken by the photographer provides an intimate, birds-eye view and gives the image a shallow depth of field, focusing straight into the vital details of the bird's head. The image is well-exposed and brilliantly sharp – congratulations to Mark on this top POTW winner!


Other notable images


Black Redstart, Cardiff, Glamorgan (Tate Lloyd).

Long-tailed Tit, Benhall, Suffolk (Jim Mountain).

Little Gull, Cheddar Reservoir, Somerset (Alex Carlisle).

Short-eared Owl, Wyke Down, Dorset (Jeremy Mcclements).

Common Crane, Walmsley Sanctuary (MEMBERS ONLY), Cornwall (Paul Davies).

Gull-billed Tern, Kilkeran Lake, Cork (Richard Mills).

Long-tailed Broadbill, Fraser's Hill, Malaysia (RICHARD JOHNSON).

Slavonian Grebe, Oxey Marsh, Hampshire (Jeremy Mcclements).

Common Redpoll, Genappe, Walloon Brabant (Marc FASOL).

Northern Lapwing, Normandy Marsh, Hampshire (Steve Laycock).

Written by: BirdGuides