Friday, April 15, 2011

Stream 'Wrens'

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.

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.


texwisgirl said...

Oh my gosh! These are beautiful and fascinating birds! Swimming down to their next feeding place! :) You got some fantastic shots!!!

Mary said...

Well it appears you got everything just about picture perfect with each and every one of these superb images. Oh my, what a brilliant series of images. You were able to capture everything that any photographer would hope to capture...glorious post~

Khaos said...

¡¡¡¡Excelentes tomas....IMPRESIONANTES!!!!.

Enhorabuena por tu trabajo.


Karen the Artist said...

Beautiful photos, you've really captured the colouring so well. I live by a river which has dippers and I love to watch them.
Best wishes, Karen

Beej said...

What a visual experience! It was like being there and watching the dippers. I love the detail -- the curling waters of the stream and the sharpness of the down feathers. In India, we get the Brown Dipper in the streams and rivers in the high reaches of the Himalaya. This post reminds me of the time I spent meditatively watching a pair of birds foraging just before the sun went down behind the great mountains.


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