By Mike Jones
This perfect moment was captured on camera as a Kingfisher erupts from the water grasping hold of a fish.
The feisty little birds are quite rare – with around only 5,000 breeding pairs left in the UK.
This brightly coloured bird was snapped in the North of England by photographer Mike Dowsett.
Mike, from Oxford, has been trying to capture the perfect Kingfisher picture for the past decade – he reckons it must have taken him at least 3,000 hours and 100,000 photos.
Mike said: “I am known in the wildlife circles as ‘Mr Kingfisher’ and people associate me with Kingfishers due to the huge volume of Kingfisher images that I have.
“Comments on Facebook and other social media are quite flattering, but also highly motivational, driving me on to finally achieve that perfect image.
“As an automotive engineer by trade, we like to do this ‘just right’ and wanted my images to be perfect. For many years my images were good, some were even described as amazing, but it took 10 years to get this image perfect.
“Being a wildlife photographer in the UK is a major challenge, due to the weather. For the high speed photography, we need light.
“Grey rainy skies are not what we need when a very fast shutter speed is the target. For me the patience required here, is around the British weather, not the wildlife itself.
“My best guess at the hours I have put into Kingfishers is around 3000 hours of sitting in silence.
“I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I look at amazing images in the paper, magazines and on Facebook and Instagram every day, but you often see small things that could be improved.
“I used to race motorcycles for about 15 years, but now have a broken back full of metalwork so needed something else. I’m driven by the technical challenge as Ospreys and Kingfishers are the hardest subject to perfect in my opinion.”