The White-throated Dipper’s in Mölndal
When I visited mother’s place earlier in the week she told me that there was a White-throated Dipper in the streams around Mölnesjön. This got me going as this is a species I haven´t photographed before. Marias father used to say that he had White-throated Dipper’s in Nossebro, but I wasn´t sure that we had them in Gothenburg.
After a little research I discovered a place in Mölndal that is famous for having a good population of White-throated Dipper’s each year. I searched for picture of the species at a Swedish photo community and found several. They were all from earlier in the week when we had clear skies and minus 10 degrees outside. I had hoped for the same weather during the weekend, but sadly we only got a couple of good hours during Saturday.
Still I wanted to check out the place so I went there on Sunday before the promised snow during the evening. It was a two folded challenge for me as I not only wanted to take photos of the bird, but I also wanted to test my new ski pants that hopefully will keep me warm during my photo session this winter.
I took the car the short drive to Mölndal which is part of Gothenburg’s urban area even if it’s a city in itself. I had a rough knowledge of where to go and that was all that I needed as I found a road sign when I got closer.
I drove over the rapid stream and slowly drove along the stream to see if I could locate any White-throated Dipper’s. I found one sitting nicely on a small ice island in the middle of the stream. It was almost too good of an opportunity, but as soon as I looked the other way the bird was gone. So I parked the car and grabbed the camera to stroll along the stream to see if I find the bird again. It didn´t take long before two came racing over the water’s edge, but I couldn´t see where they went. Instead I decided to walk back the same that I came driving. I wanted to test my luck there because that area was unfenced, for probably 100 meter, and that meant I could get better access to the stream.
Now my luck turned as I found a bird sitting nicely waiting for me to take the pictures. I started in a kneeling position, but soon I went down on the stomach to get a better angle. I worked like this for three times getting different backgrounds with the same bird. The light was really poor and I had to work with shutter speeds of just 1/60s to 1/250s so many of the pictures have just ended up in bin. The positives with using a slow shutter is that the water get a nice plastic feel in some of the pictures.
This is the picture I like the most from today. First you have the small water droplets on the bird. Second you can see the birds feet under the water. Third is the water and the nice plastic feel. Fourth is the crystal clear ice crust just behind the bird. And fifth and last is the position of the bird in the rapid stream. I would have like a little better sharpness over the bird and it lacks the proper eye with the little glint. Still it’s a pretty good picture being a first try.
I will surely go here more times this winter and next time I want better light so I can work with both the aperture and the shutter speed.