Favourite images of 2011: No.2

This was a desperate and torrid hour of photography leaving me exhausted and dripping wet. A pair of Harlequin ducks were riding the rapids of an Icelandic river and whilst there were shots to be had, their arrival on the slower water downstream allowed the use of the exquisite evening light. Only one problem: to get close enough to them I needed to wade the river and clamber onto a gravel spit. I did it once only to have the birds sail past. Remarkably they flew back upstream and repeated their journey – I did the same jumping back into the river. This happened several more times with me becoming increasingly frustrated. I took about a hundred images and liked just one. This is it.  The following day the birds were loafing right by the river bank but the light was not a patch on the previous evening.