Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

Birdwatching in & around Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, County Durham.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

an easy one to dip

The Dipper is an active & charismatic species, associated with tumbling rivers, streams, burns & becks.
It is only in the last decade that it has begn to occur in our local area - presumably in responce to a positive change in water quality...
although that may well be debateable, having seen some of what issues into the local burn.....

Dipper singing from a chunk of submerged concrete
 Yesterday, a quick check revealed that some of our Autumn efforts have already paid off.

SEPT_2010- Young Jimmys getting on a bit - he wouldnt have needed a ladder for this job 30 year ago ;-)
One of the Dipper boxes occupied by a pair, the outer dome of the nest just about complete

open topped 'box' with domed dipper nest

Whilst that pair are getting down to business, this male was still advertising for a mate.....

The species has slowly increased its range in parts of Co.Durham over the last decade, although it is still only a sporadic non-breeding visitor to the Sunderland area - the fuel oil spill from Hetton school a couple a of years ago, seemingly having an impact & pegging the handful of birds we had then, back somewhat.

Hopefully we can encourage them to colonise - though 'youngans hoyyin clemmies' may be a problem.....

# Heres a clip of a male proclaiming territory
Singing Dipper ( turn volume up - recorded through phone)

## Heres a short clip showing the bird feeding.
How they manage in the strong current never ceases to amaze - note the water spilling off its back as it moves from the rock.

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