I've been photographing birds for nearly 3 years and it's been an embarassment that I've not seen a Dipper let alone getting a shot of one.I've lost count of the number of times I've been sent to places that "You cannot fail to see Dippers at *********" and never seen one.To try and beat this curse I sought advice from Dave Hutton and in particular Pete Walkden who both sent me to Lathkill Dale.
Pete's instructions were to park in Over Haddon and walk down the hill,turn right and walk for 20 minutes till you come to a large waterfall.20 minutes??? It took me an hour!!!! Mind you as an old goat I walk much slower than the sporty Mr.Walkden and I encamped twice at the wrong waterfall(there are loads of them).
When I got to the right one there were 3 people there and I soon discovered that one had been there for 3 hours and had only had a glimpse of a Dipper and the other two had been there an hour and had not seen one at all.Oh Dear was I going to dip on the Dippers again.After 10 minutes the first guy gave up and left and soon after the other two also left leaving me on my own.
Within seconds of the last two people leaving all hell broke loose there was calling all over the place as 2 Dippers appeared on the waterfall and two Grey Wagtails appeared and started looking for nesting material.Yippppeeeee!!!!! Success at last.A life tick and some decent shots.
Stayed for about an hour and then headed back to the car but the joy of seeing some Dippers didn't prepare me for the mother of all climbs from the river upto the car park at Over Haddon.I swear my heart nearly burst.I only discovered later that the SAS come here to try and break the spirit of their recruits by making them walk the hill from hell.
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