A few days ago I visited an area that I knew where I could find a Dipper.
The European, or White-throated Dipper is a small, resident breeding bird in the UK.
A length of 18cm, (7 inches), a wingspan of 28cm, (11 inches) and weighing just 64g, (2.2 ounces), they are a fascinating little bird to watch.
They feed by walking underwater of fast flowing streams or rivers and they can remain underwater for up to 30 seconds.
This particular day, the river was flowing very fast after a lot of recent rain.
The area along the river I headed to, was one where I was pretty certain I'd find them.
There are 3 metal tubes at the edge of the river, with a small stream that cascades over them, into the river. That's on a normal day.
This particular day, the small stream was more like a raging waterfall pouring over the opening of the tubes.
I was on the opposite side of the river, high on a steep bank, looking down. Trees are all around and along the bank, so picture taking is challenging to say the least. And the light quality is poor, especially on a dull day.
It wasn't long though, when I spotted a Dipper. He'd been foraging for nesting material.
A beak full of moss.
He quickly made his way closer to the raging waters.
Waiting for the right moment.
Once he'd judged the safest and perfect time to move, he flew up to the tube, through the falling water, and into the safety of the tube.
Coming back out was no mean feat either.
As he left the opening of the tube, the force of the water every time would knock him into the river below.
While I was watching, there was a second Dipper, taking in nesting material too.
I've watched them nest here in the past, but never under such tough conditions.
I hope they are successful again.
A short video.
Enjoy your day