Monday, January 30, 2006

The Dipper Revisited

Visiting the different wildlife refuges, we have learned that often you will see certain birds (or other animals) at the same area each time you visit or make the "rounds." Once we found the spot in the creek where the dipper was feeding, we saw him regularly there. And of course, we kept going back both to enjoy watching him and for me to try to get that award winning photo. The weather in Breckenridge this year was cold and snowy. I kept hoping for a day that would have just the right combination of sun angle or high light clouds. I wanted photos of the dipper with enough lighting for a sharp, crisp photo and with the lighting at my back so I was not shooting into the sun and fighting the silhouette effect. I had one more chance with better lighting. I put my teleconverter on and spent probably an hour moving upstream with the dipper. While these are not "prize winning" or commercial quality shots, I am pleased, because I got a set of intimate shots of a very shy creature. Plus I got the enjoyment of watching his antics. I was so surprised to see him disappear underneath the ice at the edges of the water. I even saw him go under an ice bridge and surface on the other side. Because I spent so many days watching and observing, I feel an affinity with this individual dipper. I find myself searching other icy creek beds hoping for a glimpse of another dipper.

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