The Dipper

Tought it would be interesting to share the knowledge of the birds i photograph, so as i find film and share my images i will tell you a little about the bird to make the blog a little bit more imformative instead of just the iamge.

Ilearn so much by just sitting on the river it is very calming and rewarding is so many different ways. Nature comes to you a but unexpexted which makes it more exciting, yes its luck a lot of the time and it may not happen at all.

Even after 12 years of filming every week i find myself loosing my skills, like the last 9 days moving a lot of the time wanting a image so bad causes me to rush things and on a quiet river that wont work, movement will only scare and disrupt normal behaviour of all wildlife.

Yesterday was a classic example i moved 3 times looking for the Kingfisher and Dipper, but the one time i stayed still for an hour the Dipper landed.


This beautiful bird bobs up and down on the roscks only giving its location away by its white bib and throut, if it wasnt for these markings i would it would be hard to spot. But its a very interesting bird, it uses its little wings to walk and swim under water looking for small creatures. Dippers feed on aquatic invertebrates, including mayfly nymphs and caddisfly larvae, and small fish such as minnows. They spend %66 of the day looking for food.

Nest sites are traditional, and are used by successive generations of birds. One site is said to have been used continuously for 123 years. The nest may be built in any suitable site within the territory, but it is traditionally located in a natural crevice in a stream-side cave or waterfall, although the birds readily take to cracks in man-made alternatives such as bridges, walls, weirs and culverts. The same nest is usually re-lined and used for the second brood, but only rarely is a nest from a previous year re-used. 

The nest is a domed structure of moss, grass stems and leaves, with a wide entrance usually pointing down towards water. There is an inner cup of stems, rootlets, leaves and hair. It is built by both sexes over a 28 day period, with the female completing the lining to the inner cup.

Breeding timeline

A clutch of 4-5 white eggs are laid at daily intervals. Clutches are normally started between March and May. Dippers breeding at good quality sites may start as early a February, but those at high altitudes and/or near acidic streams start later, lay smaller clutches and rear smaller broods than birds on better quality sites. Pairs also rarely attempt a second brood on these poor quality sites.

The eggs are incubated by the female for about 16 days, beginning with the last egg, meaning that the brood hatches synchronously. The young are brooded by the female until they are 12-13 days old, but both parents feed the young.

The young fledge at 20-24 days but are fed for a further week, becoming fully independent 11-18 days after leaving the nest. During this time the nest site may be used by the family to roost in.

A second clutch will be started about 10 days after the fledging of the first one. The age of first breeding is one year, though males sometimes take longer.

Blackies Summary.

Understanding birds is more important to me than an image and must come first if you want to truly respect the bird and how its life starts and how it survives our UK climate, breeds and hunts all make up a more interesting image when filmed and shared as a photograph. I hope this gives the followers a understanding of the Dipper.

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