Thursday, 3 June 2010

Yesterday I decided to go and look for kingfishers as I haven't yet seen them in cumbria except for the most fleeting glance on the river derwent. I decided to follow the river Lowther along a cycle track. For what are tiny remote patches of woodland beside the cycle track I was suprised to find them brimming with bluebells and what I think was wild garlic at the roadside but maybe that was because it was a holiday park. A wooden bridge, further down the path, lay lower opposite the side of an arched stone bridge and stalactites that had formed from minerals clung in there hundreds beneath it in the relative cool. I spotted a dipper, and then two, dipping characteristically on a stone under the arch. There was a dippers nest under the bridge and from the lower wooden bridge I had the perfect vantage point. To photograph them however was a different matter as I would be shooting into shadow on a blindingly sunny day which presents problems. If only I could capture the amazing reflections I saw through the binoculars. This image was the best of the few I captured. Call it a record shot. It shows the dipper shaking off water from its feathers and because the rock and background has focus it looks intentional. The true fact is I couldn't get enough shutter speed no matter what ISO I used but I think its a nice concept image. Unfortunately I never saw a kingfisher. I did find two oystercatchers sitting and so presumed incubating on a shingle bank and a small sand martin colony but the dippers for me were still the highlight of my day.

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