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The Incredible 6-Year Journey of a Photographer in Capturing the Perfect Kingfisher Dive

The Incredible 6-Year Journey of a Photographer in Capturing the Perfect Kingfisher Dive

A heartfelt journey fueled by childhood memories transformed into a determined six-year mission for Alan McFadyen. With the aim of paying tribute to his late grandfather, he tirelessly pursued the ideal photograph of a kingfisher in mid-dive.

For more than 4,200 hours and through the lens of his camera, the 46-year-old Scotsman captured an astounding 720,000 images before finally capturing the perfect moment.

Vivid memories of observing kingfishers alongside his grandfather, Robert Murray, at a picturesque lake near Kirkcudbright, Scotland, remained deeply imprinted in McFadyen’s mind.

Four decades later, these cherished memories ignited a passion within him, transforming a childhood hobby into a dedicated pursuit of photographing this extraordinary bird.

The flawless moment: Mr. McFadyen dedicated six years of his life and took a staggering 720,000 photos before successfully capturing the kingfisher’s perfect dive.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

Every year, the kingfisher’s nest would get flooded by the rising tides. To solve this problem, McFadyen created a safe and sustainable home for the birds by carving a hole in the riverbank and filling it with clay.

In his quest, McFadyen, a father of three, made frequent visits, dedicating around 100 days each year to patiently wait at the lakeside location, hoping to capture the kingfishers’ iconic dive.

With over 720,000 photos taken and countless hours of unwavering commitment, he was able to immortalize the bird’s flawless dive, capturing the moment with no trace of a splash.

Before successfully capturing the perfect shot, Mr. McFadyen spent a total of 4,200 hours at Kirkcudbright in Scotland, tirelessly working towards his goal.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

From his home in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland, McFadyen looked back on his incredible achievement, saying, “Capturing such a shot takes a considerable amount of patience and a healthy dose of luck.

The kingfishers dive at bullet speed, making capturing a good photo a significant challenge. I often snapped hundreds of photos in one session. While most of them didn’t meet my expectations, they represented steps toward my goal.”

Sadly, McFadyen’s grandfather Robert passed away in 1994, never getting to see his grandson’s success in photographing the beloved bird they both cherished.

The instance when the kingfisher plunged into the water silently, without creating any ripples.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

The dad with three kids visited the lake several times each week, spending around 100 days every year, to take pictures of the kingfishers as they gracefully dived into the water.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

Every year, the kingfisher’s nests would get flooded with water. To solve this problem, Mr. McFadyen created a nest for them by digging a hole in the riverbank and filling it with clay.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

McFadyen shared his deep desire for his grandfather to witness his achievements, noting that his grandfather’s impact on his life was significant, and his approval would have meant everything to him.

Moving forward, McFadyen intends to carry on his exploration with the kingfishers, finding comfort and happiness in this unique lakeside location.

His ultimate aspiration is for his eight-year-old son, Leighton, who recently spotted his first kingfisher, to carry forward his legacy.

The photographer thinks that the ideal kingfisher he captured in his photograph was a fully grown female, aged approximately two or three years.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

His passion for kingfishers developed when his grandfather, Robert Murray, took him to Kirkcudbright as a young boy, 40 years ago.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

Mr. McFadyen would visit the location twice a day, for approximately 100 days each year, and during each visit, he would typically take around 600 pictures.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

‘I felt very proud as my grandfather brought me up as if he was my dad, so it really meant a lot,’ – Mr. McFadyen on his great achievement.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

Mr. McFadyen would spend about seven hours every day sitting in a photography hide that he constructed himself, in his quest to capture the elusive shot.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

The 46-year-old photographer describes the kingfishers’ diving speed into the water as fast as a bullet.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

Before creating a new home for them, Mr. McFadyen noticed that 70 percent of the kingfishers would either perish from flooding or struggle with diving.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

According to Mr. McFadyen, female kingfishers would sit on a perch about four feet above the water and would only dive three or four times a day.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

Even though he achieved the “perfect” shot, Mr. McFadyen stated that he has no intention of quitting photographing kingfishers at the lake.

Image source: Alan McFadyen

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ANIMALS

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

San Francisco is a fantastic city for jogging, no matter what month of the year. For this reason, one sunny January, one resident of San Francisco decided to go jogging along the coast. But suddenly, while running, he heard an unusual sound along the path.

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

Image source: Pixaby OleksandrPidvalnyi

He wanted to continue running, but that sound intrigued him so much that he had to stop and check where the sound was coming from among the stones along the path. A few minutes after searching, he saw a small dog’s head peeking from the rocks.

After noticing that it was a small and helpless dog, he had no choice but to call the local animal center, San Francisco Animal Care & Control, and report that he had found the lost and over-aged dog. At the same time, the center staff called their colleague Carlos Ortega to go to the field and see what exactly it was about.

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

Image source: Animal Care & Control San Francisco

Like an actual fireman, Ortega jumped out of his chair and quickly rushed with the equipment to the shore to solve the emergency. The problem was that the tide was getting bigger and bigger, and there was a real danger that those stones would become flooded, so the dog’s life was in danger.

Unfortunately, the jogger who found the unfortunate dog could not stay with him until Ortega arrived, but that’s why he sent the center’s employees the exact location and a picture of the stone where the dog was so that Ortega could find it more easily. Through that right location, the reception center employees could find where the dog was located.

Ortega had problems finding a puppy because he searched among many stones quite similar to the one he got from a photo sent to him by a jogger. The search dragged on a bit and was taking longer than he first expected.

For this reason, he had to call several of his colleagues for help because there was less and less time. And just when he picked up the phone to call his colleagues, he suddenly noticed a scared dog shaking and staring at him.

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

Image source: Animal Care & Control San Francisco

It was not easy to remove the stones and free the passage, but in the end, he pushed the stone away on top and freed the dog, her name was Gwen as he will find it out later one. The dog was shaking at first, but after Ortega took it in his arms, it calmed down and stopped shaking. Afterward he became dog’s friend and gained his trust. Ortega took him in his arms and checked that he might not be injured. Ortega was so happy about the final departure that right after rescuing the puppy, he decided to take a selfie as a memory.

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

Image source: Animal Care & Control San Francisco

After the newly formed friendship, Ortega took her to his vehicle to scan her microchip and see who the owner was. After scanning, the owners were soon found. When Ortega called the owners, they told him that the dog got lost in the morning and that they had been looking for him for hours. Eventually, Ortega took Gwen home to her family.

A Dramatic Dog Rescue Of Man Jogging on Beach in San Francisco

Image source: Pixaby TheOtherKev

When Gwen saw her family, she ran to hug them all, full of joy. This moment of rescue and the experience that Ortega had will remain with him for his entire life.

Sources: The Dodo, Animal Care & Control San Francisco

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ANIMALS

Puppy battles for her life after deadly bite wounds

Puppy battles for her life after deadly bite wounds

She was too little for such a horrible injury, and we knew if she didn’t respond to antibiotics, she wouldn’t stand a chance.

When Animal Aid Unlimited rescue personnel arrived to save a puppy with a neck injury, it was a race against time.

When they came, the poor little animal was laying on the ground, unable to raise her head. The little dog didn’t have a broken neck; rather, she had nerve damage as a result of bite wounds.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of the situation was that the puppy acknowledged their goodwill in attempting to rescue her, but she couldn’t raise her neck or lift her head to acknowledge them. She tried, but the poor pup couldn’t.

Puppy battles for her life after deadly bite wounds

Fortunately for the dog, she was in wonderful hands when the rescuers took her in. They rushed her to the hospital.

Her puncture scars had gotten infected, and the infection had spread throughout her body, so there was no time to waste. They pumped her full of antibiotics and pain relievers, and she was soon on the mend.

Puppy battles for her life after deadly bite wounds

It took some time to get her back up and running, but the small pup proved she was a warrior.

Puppy battles for her life after deadly bite wounds

They called the adorable puppy Sprinkles and were eager to return her to her mother and family.

Puppy battles for her life after deadly bite wounds

After two weeks, during which she proved to be a complete love bug with rescue personnel, she was reunited with her family.

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ANIMALS

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

Thank them for saving her from such a terrible life she was born. Now it’s time for her to be loved and trusted in life and grow up to be a happy, healthy animal.

This 20 days old little puppy was left alone without strength lying on a hill in Chanis, Panama,…

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

…with full of flies, lice, fleas and multiple wounds on her body…

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

…until they got her, her condition is critical, she doesn’t move much, breath weekly and always close her eyes…

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

She was hospitalized all day at the Veterinary Paws & Footprints of Chanis, where they check her every 2 hours.

The little girl who weighs only 0.66 kg, that’s about 1.45 lbs but has to receive various injectable medications every few hours.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

As she couldn’t eat, her blood sugar dropped again, so she had to undergo another blood transfusion…It’s a painful process, especially for a little baby.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

It’s heartbreaking to hear her “crying” voice during night…but the vet said she needs to repeat that process for few times as her anemia does not improve despite adequate nutrition.

Her hematocrit value doesn’t rise, even with blood transfusion, which means that she is not regenerating on her own.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

The next day, the test came out much better, her hemoglobin went up from 3.0 to 4.5 with the transfusion. Platelets went up from 28 to 84 and her hematocrit went up from 12 to 16 which allow baby Amor is leaving hospital.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

Baby Amor feels a bit better after 2 days in their center, she became quite and stopped crying at night. However, she is still hospitalized daily in the morning hour where she is watched and monitored.

In the afternoon, their volunteers start to play with her, which might help her to feel love and better for her mental health.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

A week later, Amor eat started to be able to eat Proplan canned puppy food, not a lot but her appetite improved. For every 2 hours, she is also given water and malt extract, which is a food supplement with high iron content.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

The strength of her heart is stronger than her body. Wounds start to heal which causes itchy feeling with the bandage. The little girl doesn’t give up, she has fought again all odds, and she keeps standing, asking life for another chance.

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night 

Little Puppy Lying And Crying Alone Without Strength After Being Abandoned On a Hill At Night

Image source: Screenshot

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