15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World

Overcoming the challenges of landing on Bass Rock in swollen seas, I absorbed the spectacle of this densely populated gannet colony. Thousands were nesting on the ground and hundreds circled overhead. Engulfed by a pervading stench, and constant cacophony of harsh, ‘krokking’ bird calls and with my feet immersed in several inches of soft mud; guano and discarded feathers, I attempted to capture the drama of one bird anticipating joining the throng.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2016
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: Bass Rock, Scotland, United Kingdom
Camera: NIKON D810
Copyright: © John Birch