Dippers At The Double

May 10, 2010 at 3:17 am


It is four years since I last filmed breeding Dippers so to film two breeding pairs in the last six days is especially rewarding. The good thing about Dippers is that they feed their young at less than ten minute intervals so you don’t have to wait hours in between feeds as you do with some raptors. The rewarding feature is that they bring different items of prey each time so you never know what will be in their bill on the next feed. At one site the male spent some time singing close to the hide and he had a very varied repertoire. This probably means that he is trying to impress the female again with an eye on a second clutch of eggs. Altogether the time spent on these two pairs was most satisfying especially as they are one of the Pennines most charismatic birds.

A lot of time has been put into finding nests this week and in two days I have found Kingfisher, Curlew, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Willow Warbler and four pairs of Pied Flycatchers – an all time high number of Pied Flycatchers for me.

One of the best birds of the week was a male Black Redstart seen in the high hills East of Burnley. Coincidentally in the same area where I saw a female ten years ago.

There are still plenty of challenges ahead this month and I have yet to find a Golden Plover nest. The search for the Woodcock continues but flushing a roosting male the other day takes me a step closer to finding the illusive sitting female.