The first Dipper is back
A hunch made me go to Jonsered today to see if the White-throated Dipper had arrived for the winter season. I don´t know when the White-throated Dipper usually end up here around Gothenburg, but I thought the probability would be good that they would be back.
The weather is warm for the season with almost 10 degrees Celsius and it has been like this for almost a week now. Warm weather means rain this time of year so I was worried that there might be a high water level now.
My worries ended when I got there as the water levels almost was perfect for White-throated Dipper. Now I just had to find them if they had arrived.
The first I saw was two female Common Merganser just by the floodgates. They are here year around, but you need a hide to get close to these birds to get anything useful so I left them there without trying to get a photo.
I walked towards the bend where I always found the White-throated Dipper during the winter. I couldn´t see a single Dipper, but found a Mallard Duck couple that were resting in the middle of Säveån. I took a couple of pictures of the female that stood on one leg.
I think this is a really beauty. It is almost as the shy Mallard peeking through the feathers to see how is taking its picture.
I left the Mallards and walked further down the stream and suddenly I saw the Dipper. It was almost where I had hoped it to be. I took a couple of safety shots when it sat on a big stone singing. It soon flew off, but I could still hear it singing somewhere upstream. I surveyed this stretch of Säveån and sat there for 10 minutes in hope of the Dipper returning. Ten minutes is a little short, but I felt that this place wasn´t as good as the clearing upstream where the water level was a little lower.
During the short walk upstream I “stumbled” upon a Common Frog. Not the easiest subject to photo with a tele lens. I gave it a try, but I am not completely satisfied with the end product.
The light was bad and it was really hard to find focus. I can´t say if this picture is sharp or not, but I suspect that is the case with all wet amphibians.
When I felt I had tried my opportunity with the Frog I left for the small clearing where I sat down and waited for the Dipper to come to me. I could see it upstream, but suddenly it disappeared before it reappeared together with another Dipper. I expect this was a quarrel for the best hunting ground.
This time patience worked like a charm. I know this place and where they usually search for food and it didn´t take long before one of the Dippers reappeared. It started to plunge into the water 20 meters upstream, but it slowly worked its way towards me and suddenly I got the opportunity that I had waited for.
This is a good White-throated Dipper picture, but it isn´t something special. It is really hard to do anything extra as the light where the Dippers stay always tend to be dark forcing you to shoot at slow shutter speed. This picture is taken at 1/200s so you understand that it is almost impossible to get a flight shot of these quick birds. I still want just that kind of picture and I think it means I have to raise the ISO to give me a chance to capture just that moment.
I will probably leave it for this weekend as there will be rain tomorrow, but I hope I will be able to present a picture of a flying White-throated Dipper before this year ends.
Please enjoy the gallery.