Before I get to posting my journeys around Mallorca last week, I thought I would just post some images from a recent lunch hour project trying to photograph some dippers on a small stream close to my office.
Friday, April 15, 2011
For those who have encountered a dipper before they are like a large white breasted wren who are happy spending as much time under the water as they are above it. They are a fascinating bird to watch as they peer under water for invertebrates to eat and forage in amongst the tumbling water of the shallow riffles.
A bird swimming downstream to its next feeding shallows.
These photos actually took quite a bit of effort with eight days of lunch hours required to obtain the photographs in this post. The birds were being somewhat elusive which was further compounded by the very limited photography time a lunch hour offers after you knock off the travel time.
Dippers are quite a photographic challenge in terms of getting the exposure correct. This results from a combination of dappled and variable lighting falling on a woodland stream combined with their brilliant white breast feathers. You would think this white chest would make them easy to spot but it is surprisingly easy to walk right past a bird.
When you find a cooperative bird then the fact that they will spend long periods carefully preening their feathers allows plenty of opportunity to play with the camera setting and get the exposure right.
Hopefully I can call back in to have another lunch hour session with the birds soon before the tree canopy becomes too dense and sends their woodland stream into deep shadow. A wonderful and fascinating species to watch and photograph.