Great Northern Diver

July 14, 2014  •  1 Comment

Another species high up the wish list, but as with their slimmer cousins very few opportunities. When they did come, the light was dull and flat and awful. First up was a family of birds on the southern side of the Snaefellsnes pensinula. Reverting to stealth yet again, we dropped and commando crawled to the edge. But I wasn't quick enough, as still several yards from the edge I started hearing the shutters whirring, and so did the birds. Only a couple of images before they had drifted too far out and right, so I retreated the way I had come.

The second chance came after our long day at Myvatn. As we climbed out we noticed three birds sheltering in the lee of the wind, really close to the edge of the lake. Although the boys would have liked me to ditch the car in the middle of the road, I insisted we leave it somewhere safe, and unfortunately by the time we had walked back the birds had drifted out a little farther. In crappy light we decided to give it a go anyway, and the Divers surprised us by not swimming several kilometers away. Do they perhaps have poor eyesight? Or perhaps they felt perfectly comfortable at that range? We made the most of what was probably going to be our last chance at this species, but it was a struggle to get low enough, and it was getting dimmer by the minute. Still, an adult summer GND in any light is immense, and having only really seen winter plumage birds before, to be able to get one of these beasts in the frame at all was a huge result. But I still need to go to Maine or somewhere I feel. Here's the best from this encounter, some of the images show a small amount of the neck sheen, but on the whole dull light makes for dull images. Indeed shortly after we left here the rain started to come down. Nonetheless I am happy with what I came away with, best (only!) I've taken so far!

 


Comments

Mark Carmody(non-registered)
Great series of images nonetheless. We had similar experiences in Iceland with the GNDs. Very wary. The RTDs were much easier to approach. Superb country though.
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