It swoops down from a high altitude at incredible speed, diving straight into the water. It then emerges, food in its beak. It's a sight photographer Alan McFadyen will never forget, as he's seen it likely more than anyone on Earth.
McFadyen was taken to this very spot 40 years ago with his grandfather Robert Murray. He remembered being amazed watching the birds dive. When he took up photography, he decided to make this the focus of attention as a tribute to his late grandfather.
"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. The photo I was going for of the perfect dive, flawlessly straight, with no splash required not only me to be in the right place and get a very lucky shot but also for the bird itself to get it perfect."
As if capturing the perfect dive wasn't challenging enough, other problems presented themselves. The kingfisher nest flooded every year by the tidal water. To combat this, McFadyen had to dig a hole in the bank and fill it with clay to make a more sustainable nest for the birds and ensure he'd have more opportunities to capture his prized pic.
McFadyen was single-minded in his goal. He explained, "I would often go and take 600 pictures in a session and not a single one of them be any good. But now I look back on the thousands and thousands of photos I have taken to get this one image, it makes me realize just how much work I have done to get it."
Finally, he captured the perfect dive. Gaze upon this image and stand in awe at the amount of time and effort that went into capturing it. Reacting to his own picture, McFadyen said, "I'm sure my grandfather would have loved it, I just wish he could have seen it. All of my family contacted me when they saw it and said he would have been so proud of it."
"Just because I have now got this shot, I'm never going to stop going to this spot and snapping the kingfishers. It's a very relaxing place and I just love it. But I'm not sure how I can ever beat this picture. I have already started taking my eight-year-old son Leighton along with me and he spotted a kingfisher for the first time just last week so my dream is for him to take it up, too."
McFadyen may have even passed his interest off to his subject. All the time he spent pointing that thing at them, they were bound to get curious. He better be careful, though. If that bird takes a picture it could wind up suing him for all he's worth.