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White-throated Dipper

White-throated Dipper
Photo Information
Copyright: Eduard Baak (snowfalken) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 419 W: 27 N: 497] (1788)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30 D, Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM
Exposure: f/4, 1/40 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-05-08 7:27
Viewed: 4243
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)


Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Cinclidae
Genus Cinclus

Size Wingspan: 25.5-30 cm
Length: 17-20 cm
Weight 50-76 g


The dipper is a dumpy aquatic bird with a short tail. Adults have dark sooty-black plumage with a prominent bright white bib, and the plumage below the bib and on the head is reddish-brown. Juveniles are grayish in colour. The common name ‘dipper’ refers to this bird’s habit of ‘curtseying’ when perched. The call is a penetrating ‘zits’ and the song is a slow, soft warbling.


The race that occurs in Britain, gularis, is found throughout most of Wales and northern Britain, but has a patchy distribution in south-west England. The Irish race, hibernicus is widespread in Ireland with the exception of central areas. Elsewhere, the dipper is found in much of Europe, extending east to Russia and the Urals and south to North Africa.


Breeds along fast-flowing streams and rivers, typically in upland areas where there are plenty of exposed stones on which they can perch. They typically nest in crevices beneath bridges and in walls. In winter, dippers tend to stay in their breeding areas, but in very harsh conditions they may move to estuaries and coastal areas.


The dipper has evolved amazing methods of hunting: it swims underwater using its wings, can walk along the bottom with the wings held out to prevent it bobbing to the surface, and can swim on the surface, making dives into the water. They feed on a wide range of aquatic invertebrates and fish. Dippers hunt by sight, and have a third white eye-lid known as a nictitating membrane, which protects the eye when they are submerged.

Dippers breed early in the year, and will often have laid eggs before the end of February. The domed nest is constructed from straw and moss, and is typically built in a crevice below a bridge, behind a waterfall or in a stone wall. Four or five eggs are laid and incubated for around 16 days. The young will have fledged after 20-24 days, and the maximum lifespan of this bird is around 8 years.



Photo Info:

I took this photo during a short trip to a canyon located closely to the area where I live. It is called "Cheile Rasnoavei". A fast flowing river cut its way through the rocks creating a narrow canyon with a depth of several hundreds of feet.
The weather conditions were pretty bad for shooting as the sky was heavily overcast and occasionally short light rain would fall. Additionally, the tall rock walls and dense forest made the shooting conditions even worse hence the long shutter speed. I shot in burst mode to maximize the chances of getting a sharp photo since I didn't want to increase the ISO.


ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ShutterSpeedValue - 1/40 seconds
ApertureValue - F 4.00
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 200 mm
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto

PP in CS2:

- RAW to TIF to JPG;
- selective sharpened with high pass filter;
- selective blur on the BG;
- cropped, resized, added frame and signature;

cicindela, Royaldevon, MMM, coasties, Ken52, horia, GLEM, scottevers7, Tamrock, deblink, loot, Debz, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To peter_stoeckl: Thank you my friend!snowfalken 1 08-06 06:24
To Debz: Thank you!snowfalken 1 07-02 06:15
To loot: Thank you my friend!snowfalken 1 06-11 14:23
To deblink: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-25 06:48
To betsie: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-22 06:28
To euk: Thanks for your critique!snowfalken 1 05-09 12:51
To GLEM: Thank you!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:34
To Juyona: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:32
To marco80: Thanks a lot!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:30
To horia: Multumesc!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:29
To cicindela: Thanks a lot!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:23
To Ken52: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:21
To coasties: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:15
To ralfsworld: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:13
To Raptorman: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:11
To Royaldevon: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:07
To claudine: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 05-09 08:04
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Critiques [Translate]

Beau cliché, bravo

Wow, Eduard, this is a magificent capture! It must have taken a lot of patience! You have even got a shot with food in its beak! Great pov, colours, dof and sharpness. Well done!
Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Hello Eduard , good comp. and POV of this rare bird , TFS and good luck...

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-05-08 10:10]
  • [+]

Hola Eduard,
buena captura, magnífico escenario.
detalles y agradable pov.
saludos amigo.

Hi Eduard
Really nice shot of White-throated Dipper with insect in its beak.
Details, colours and pose work well with BG or birds environment.

Hi Eduard

Awesome shot. Congrats! TFS.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-05-08 23:14]
  • [+]

Hey Eddie, nice to see you back with another excellent photo. I love the composition following the rule of thirds. The exposure is outstanding as you managed the darks and lights well. You have great DOF which causes the subject to pop and nice interesting background also. The focus is razor sharp giving outstanding detail in the bird's plumage and also detail of the insect. Great catchlight in eye.
Best regards, Ken

Hello Eddie!
Nice capture with good details and interesting POV. I like grey BG and sharp bird.
Note is also very interesting, especially photo data.
Greetings and have a nice afternoon!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-09 7:13]
  • [+]

Salut Edi

Ahhh....ce misto!!! Momentul aici este cheis, si ai speculat asta cat de bine posibil.
Se poate usor vedea si din poza ca lumina si conditiile "climatice" au fost relativ departe de ideale, dar rezultatul este unul remarcabil! Cred ca ai facut foarte bine sa folosesti "Burnst mode"-ul, dar sincer, cred ca puteai urca pana la ISO 200 fara sa pierzi prea mult din calitatea imaginii si a culorilor...din cate am vazut si citit eu, senzorul unui 30D nu are probleme deloc la asa valori mici de sensibilitate. Oricum, sunt uimit de claritatea imaginii in conditiile unui timp de expunere asa scurt. Bravo! Iar tinant cont de distanta focala si de faptul ca e un "handheld", imi vine in minte vorba lui Niek(suntoucher) - "surgeon hands" :)) (am avut mai de mult o discutie cu el despre stabilitatea mainilor...).

Oricum, pe langa asta, compozitia pe care ai reusit s-o creezi aici e foarte frumoasa iar BG-ul e exceptional, lasand sa se intrevada un pic din habitatul pasarii.


  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-05-09 7:52]
  • [+]

salut Edouart,
vous êtes un exemple c'est toujours du travail de haut niveau.
J'aime ces teintes foncées, l'oiseau avec sa proie.


Hello Eddie,
Wow, you did well in those difficult conditions. This is a superb capture with this insect in its beak. You had a great timing! Details and exposure are beautiful and I like this composition. DOF let us see a little of this flowing river and it gives a nice texture to the picture. This is a beautiful specie that I didn't know about. Your notes are very instructive and this bird is beautiful. You even managed to catch a little light in its eye, congratulations :) This is very well done. Thanks,

Hi Eddie,
An excellent composition and pose on this White-throated Dipper. The insects in the beak really add to the shot. Soft light and a spot on exposure. I really like the isolation on the rock with the soft OOF backround. Well done!

hello eduard!
i love this bird and you
capture it exellent with
good sharpness and fine
pov and dof
great compo to

  • Great 
  • euk (11)
  • [2007-05-16 3:48]
  • [+]

Is this a White-throated Dipper or a Deep Throated?


Compozita este perfecta,miraculoasa,nu-mi vine sa cred ca ai putut incadra asa bine...cum ai putut sa incadrezi poza in asa fel incat cele 4 margini (miraculoase) sa fie paralele cu chenarul...ce sa mai zic ...e...e...e de vis ....


Este incredibil cat de cololrata este aceasta fotografie alb-negru... cum ai putut captura un numar asa mare de culori...16 milioane de culori...
Este incredibil....le-ai numarat vreodata?


Contrastul in aceasta poza de evidentiaza in primul rand pe figura celor doi protagonisti... o data pasare care e bucuroasa, fericita ca mananca ceva iar in contrast insecta care este suparata,trista...deoarece este ultima ei zi din
viata...si va fi nevoita sa vada interiorul scarbos al pasaricii...

Oricum.... este incredibil!!!!


In ceea ce priveste expunerea ...este incredibila ,miraculoasa ,ce mai frate ,...perfecta.
Nu stiu de la ce distanta ai fotografiat si daca ai cropuit din fotografia originala, dar daca poti s-o printezi pe format 20x30 ar arata minunat in baie!

Folosind o diafragma F 4.00 si Shutter Speed - 1/40 seconds este rezultatul ideal pentru o asemenea expunere....este incredibil....


Senzational Diaconescu....nici nu am cuvinte Eddie draga...DOF e perfect, mirabolant....
La diafragma care ai folosit-o F4 + PS...era clar ca vei avea un asemenea DOF...Bravo...


Wow....ce mai focalizare...este incredibil...Ai folosit un obiectiv...doua sau nici unu...


Rama este superba...incredibila....
O astfel de rama se potriveste excelent cu pasarica si insecta...
Rama alba simbolizeaza pasarica iar cele doua rame negre si mai subtiri simbolizeaza insecta sfasiata de durere...


Este incredibil cum un senzor asa de mic a putut face o poza asa de mare...mare din toate punctele de vedere....


Numai bine ...si pupici....

Hi Eduard
It must have taken a lot of patience to capture this one - perfect shot to show off her dedication beautiful colour and pride - Also VERY good notes - well done! I am not into photography, but I enjoy the photos - most of them are just SO perfect! I was introduced to TN by Loot. Thank you for sharing your photos on TN - Regards, Betsie

Hello Eduard,
I am very impressed with the images in your gallery, you are very talented in this area. This image is no exception. The quality is just superb. All the detail in this beautiful little bird can be seen so well. I love the fact that you captured the image of it with a bug in its mouth it adds so much interest.

bonjour eddie
ce que j'aime su cette photo c'est que l'oiseau ne semble pas se mefier,il est tranquille avec ses proies dans le bec,il est net et detaillé.
la riviere en arriere plan donne bien une de l'endroit.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-06-10 5:39]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Eduard

A great capture of a very cute little bird with excellent results under very strenuous conditions. I just love the "frozen activity" with the Dipper settling on the rock to consume its meal.

The flowing water in the BG provided an excellent OOF backdrop for this shot. It enhances the little bird and really makes it stand out in the frame. The composition is perfect and it is well complimented by the simplistic scenery which comprises of the bird, the rock, and the flowing river. The colours are well saturated yet very natural, the details are great and it shows some excellent features in the plumage, the exposure was spot on with well defined contrasts visible in the darker and lighter areas on the bird.

Good work MF and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-07-01 8:28]
  • [+]

Hi Eduard, this is a fine shot of the lovely Dipper with his beak full. Very well composed and the bird has fine detail and sharpness. The pose of the bird is perfect. A very beautiful compositon.

Hello Eddie,
sorry for having been a rather irregular visitor to TN over the last few months, so this is coming a bit late:
A perfect capture of a Dipper in its natural habitat of fast flowing rivers. Details, pose, and the distant but still very well visible background of waters could not have been recorded in a better way. Thank you!
My best regards,

The dipper is one of my favourite birds - I do quite a bit of mountain walking and they're a common site on mountain rivers and streams here in the UK.
I like the way you framed this quite wide, showing us some of the bird's habitat. The bird's placement in the frame also works well, and your quick reactions paid off in catching it with food in it's beak.
The eye is perhaps a little bit soft, but at these small file sizes it can be hard to tell. Overall I think it's very well taken. I hope I have my camera ready next time I see one of these birds.
Good work Eduard.


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