Whos keeping an eye on me....

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Keeping Track

Thought I would share this info, some intresting stuff about my local Dippers:


I posted the above image on a birdforum covering my local county of Cheshire. I took the Dipper images in a small village Nr Macclesfield called Wildboarclough on the edge of East Cheshire in March of 2010. The county recorder saw the images and gave the following reply, it makes intresting reading:

"Re the Dipper picture, as you can see this is a colour ringed individual. South Manchester Ringing Group in conjuction with Professor Stuart Sharpe at Sheffield UniV are mid way through a BTO RAS ( retrapping adults for Survival) project on Dippers. The blue colour ring above the BTO metal denotes the river (in this case Clough Brook) and the colour ring combination on the left leg, which territory/pair it was first trapped at. This is a male who was paired with a female by the picnic site near Yarnshaw Hill in 2009. The colour ringing means we dont have to try and recatch the adults as they can be identified from excellent pictures like the one posted.
At Wildboarclough, the Dippers ( and there are up to six pairs down to the A54 bridge from Bottom of the Oven) tend not to spend all winter on territory, most birds decend to lower levels during the winter months. It seems to be the experienced females who get back to key territories (mostly nest boxes under the bridges) first, and then lure a passing male as they move back up the brook ! So the girls are very much in charge in the Dippering world of Clough Brook at least! Having said that we did have one male who manged two females and two broods under adjacent bridges 100m apart in 2009, and even manged a second brood with one of them, who was actually his daughter from a previous season. Would make a good soap opera I think !"


How about that for a few facts about my local bird

More images of the same bird.....




and some of its partner

A real Head-turner!!


in the blink of an eye....

shes just looking too damn pretty


As a foot note I have been back to their territory a couple of times in January but have not yet spotted their return, well maybe they will very soon I hope. 

22 comments:

Ruth said...

Just came across your blog and this fascinating info about Dippers.....great stuff and brilliant images!

Dixxe said...

Such a beautiful bird! I hope they will return so we can see more about them!

Frank said...

Excellent post and pics Dave. Always exciting to get that amount of detailed feedback on a particular bird.

Larry said...

Very cool Dave! I am always interested in hearing of scientific studies going on with different bird species.

I love Dippers and their previous name the "Water Ouzel" makes them even more intriguing. Plus the fact that they walk and swim underwater in fast moving, ice cold streams is pretty darn impressive.

Thanks for sharing the ringing information on your Ouzel. Very informative.

Martha Z said...

A pretty little bird, the American Dipper is not nearly as attractive but still fun to watch.

Sally in WA said...

Very interesting post, especially about the banding. Great photos!

mick said...

Very interesting facts about the banding and color coding of the different birds. Great that you were able to get such good clear photos to help with the ID.

holdingmoments said...

Excellent shots Dave.
It's great the amount of information from a couple of rings. Makes fascinating reading.

Arija said...

Oh my goodness, incest!!! What a lot of interesting information that they can actually be identified to particular nest sites.
Cheeky little fellow indulging in bigamy as well as incest. I wonder what the bird police make of that!

Great photos - all of them. Most enjoyable post as well.

Dave said...

Thanks everyone for taking time to read. Its amazing what info we can glean from these rings. Of course without these dedicated people all this behaviour would surley pass us by un-noticed... Dave

Nicole said...

WOW, I never thought that ringing can get that kind of great Info and that the Internet makes it possible to get such wonderful responses to your photos.
It's an incredible world we live in - in some aspects!
Lovely shots of these Beauties! Hope they return soon and we read more of the soap opera :)

Hilke Breder said...

Nice images! I'd love to watch a dipper. Fabulous post! Combining two worlds, water and air. What a way to make a living!

jo©o said...

Hiya Dave,
Good grief, talk about Big Brother :-)
Even little birds are in the filing system.
Quite good that your picture was recognized for what it was though.
I like the Waxwing picture in the sidebar.

EmptyNester said...

Excellent shots and such a beautiful little bird!

Pat said...

Great post and photos! Beautiful bird.

Gary said...

Well done!! And the essay is good too. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

theconstantwalker said...

Lovely birds to watch.Great photos and info.

Adam Tilt said...

Great shots of the Dipper and fascinating to find out it's history. I have a Dipper on the small river that runs at the back of my house and I'm hoping to get some good photographs of it this year.

Great blog and duly followed.

Adam @ My Life Outside

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What an interesting post! You are a professional and I am just hanging out here in amateur bird-watching land -- I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you (and I'd love to see that adorable dipper).

Johnny Nutcase said...

Dippers! Such cool birds, and so much fun to watch! I found a family this summer where we were, 4 fledglings and their parents and watched them forever. Love the photos, all of 'em are great!

JM said...

What a lovely bird! I'm sure your shots make it justice, they are great.

Dave said...

Gorgeous shots of the Dipper Dave!
I visited the Peak District a couple of years ago, what a beautiful area to bird!