The kingfisher bird may look colourful and delicate but it’s a swift and skillful hunter. The small bird is known to perform fast and flawless dives into lakes and rivers to catch small fish. Alan McFayden fell in love with the feathered animal as a kid when his grandfather, Robert Murray, would take him to see the bird’s nesting area around Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.
The 46-year-old has spent the last six years returning to the same area to capture the perfect and rare shot of the kingfisher diving straight into the water, without a splash. The wildlife photographer spent 4,200 hours and took 720,000 photos to get that one shot. For McFayden, the sacrifice was worth every minute.
“There are not many people in the world who have got this shot. Kingfishers dive so fast they are like bullets so taking a good photo requires a lot of luck – and a lot of patience,” says McFayden.
He was so focused on accomplishing this feat that he went to the site approximately 100 days every year, often times taking 600 photos per visit.