Cairngorms National Park, Scotland


I had tried a few sessions of the osprey diving this year and the light just never came good.  This was the last chance I had given myself this season as it was the start of August and the birds would be getting ready to depart on their long migration. The birds always try to fish at first light (4.45am) when the light is still poor for photography and some occasions I was shooting at ISO 10000.  On this occasion my luck came good as the ospreys were still coming in later, 7am!  So was a rare treat to keep the ISO low, there was also no wind so this was perfect conditions for the osprey to fish as the still water makes it easier for the ospreys to see the fish and pin point their dive.

It is a case of keeping an eye on the osprey hovering above the pond, watching it closely, waiting for the sudden drop and dive into the pond, you have just a split second to react to this.  It’s a heart stopping moment at the point the bird hits the water to grabbing the fish, then the struggle to lift the fish out of the water with a few powerful wing beats. Just a few seconds and it’s all over.  Needless to say I was not only pleased I captured sharp images but the mirror reflection and the golden light makes it all the more special.  It is a breathtaking experience and the adrenaline rush you get makes you want to come back for more.

Field Notes

Camera: Nikon D3S

Lens: Nikon 600mm F4

Aperture: F7.1

Exposure: 1/2500 sec

ISO: 1000