Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dipper de do da.

It was one of those days, I started the day off by taking the Westies for their usual early morning walk. And its usually on this walk I start to formulate my plans for the day, because as I'm on my wonder I can take stock of the weather, and what it might do during the course of the day. Well I have to say it wasn't giving a great deal away this morning, it was alternating between sun, with dirty big black clouds circling and the odd spot of rain. Back home I thought I'll give it a while, and catch up on e-mail, and a few other jobs. By 10am  the sun was cracking, so not wanting to wast it I grabbed the camera jumped in the car and set off.
    I decided to have a ride up to  Wetsleddale  where there is a dam surrounded by high moorland, and is partly owned by the RSPB.  To reach it you can either use the M6 to Shap Which is the nearest village, or use the A6, in which case if you are driving from the North , you would drive through Shap. I decided on the A6, and hadn't been on this road long when the sun disappeared, never to be seen again for the rest of the day, daaaam.
    Long before you get to the dam there is a beck, which I always stop at just in case there are any Grey Wagtails about, as I have found them here before. As I approached the beck two birds lifted and flew down stream, too big to be Wagtails, they landed again about 30 yards away.

I was delighted to see a pair of Dippers (Cinclus cinclus) doing their usual bobbing movement.

I was cursing the lighting, not only was it dull and trying to rain, but I was looking down on them, into a little gorge.

Then there was one, they move like lightening, and one disappeared while I was altering the camera settings.
They are so well camouflaged, if it wasn't for the white chest they could easily be overlooked.
 If I approach them directly they would be off, stealth was needed, so I backed off out of sight, did a little circular, and made my approach from a different direction, this involved sliding around on my backside, and getting it soaking wet, as the area was covered with sedge and Sphagnum moss and dripping with cold water.

If only the sun had been shining, its the first time I've seen a Dipper standing on one leg, unless its only got one leg.

By now its mate had disappeared back up stream, and this one soon followed, I thanked them for allowing me into their world for a little while.

Up at the Dam I was surprised to find a large raft of Wigeon, (this is only part of the raft) with a few Mallard mixed in, and all the time the bubbling/rippling call of the Curlew could be heard coming from the surrounding moorland. I also found quite a bit of frogspawn, unfortunately it had been laid in flooded tractor tracks, so will not survive, the next tractor along, and it will be doomed
Linking to Stewarts Wild bird Wednesdayhttp://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

34 comments:

  1. Dearest Gordon; Your Dippers are SO lovely♡♡♡ They sure look like having only one leg, although from your first picture they are normal.
    I loved to read your description of your weather.

    Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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  2. A nice day you had. The Dipper is a favourite of mine. Brilliant photos Gordon.

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  3. I really enjoyed your Dipper pictures, really nice birds to see. From Findlay

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  4. Wonderful little birds! I love watching the dippers.

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  5. Lovely little birds. Thanks so for sharing.

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  6. Great photos of very cute birds. I admire your persistence in getting the photos - the things we birders do for a good photo!!!

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  7. Hi Gordon! Photographs of Dippers are fabulous :-) We love this species. Name of this bird in our country is "pluszcz" :-)
    Greetings from Poland

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  8. You're right about the weather Gordon. Still very changeable and no two days the same - very annoyng for birding. It's amazing how such (comparatively) large birds like Dippers can disappear into their surroundings as you describe, but good to see them nesting early like they do and more broods to come.

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  9. Great photos, so cute birds!

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  10. Worth the wet bum I'd say Gordon!

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  11. Awesome sighting and shots of the Dipper. It looks prettier than the American Dipper, which is mostly plain gray in color.

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  12. Fun. Enjoyed this a lot. I've tried to take pictures of these little guys without any luck at all. They are so fun to watch. They look about just like the ones we see (but back in the Pacific Northwest, I am not sure if there are any here in Florida.)

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  13. sorry Gordon, had to smile when I read about your approach in the sedge/moss location for your shots; wouldn't you know it?! The Dipper is a new one to me, well done. ('Cepting for the slip-up).

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  14. Wow...an incredible looking bird!!!

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  15. HI Gordon Great that you saw and got shots of the Dipper. No I have never seen a Dipper on one leg before,in fact I have never seen 2 Dipper together before either!

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  16. Great for you to see the Dippers! You sound a lot like me - I'll go to great lengths - like crawling on my stomach, climbing a bluff, etc. to get that one perfect shot! lol

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  17. Dippers really are amazing birds. I watched the American one on several occasions in Yellowstone National Park there. They are tough too! I hope there were no after effects from your excursion!

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    1. Just a correction on my part, removed my own comment. I would like to thank one and all, for pointing out that indeed the Dipper does have two legs, as seen in the first photo, an oversight on my part, another grey moment !!.
      Thank you all , Gordon,

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  19. Great looking bird! We used to have Dippers on a reserve I worked on in the NE. Hope to see some this year. BIrd poo on rocks in the middle of the river is always a good sign as far as Dippers go!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  20. Good show on deciding to grab the camera and head outdoors! Even better on having such patience. That is one handsome bird! We have nothing like it here in Florida.

    All the best, Gordon!

    -- Wally

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  21. It's a wonder that you were able to see the Dippers. They really do blend in with the environment.

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  22. Love the Dipper I have never seen one yet. They are good at blending. Happy Birding!

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  23. I can spot the big dipper but I've never spotted a dipper!

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  24. "Birding, Kyfer, Misty and Me" has been included in Tuesday's Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2014/04/tuesdays-sites-to-see_22.html

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  25. Your patience has paid off.
    I too have wondered at times when I see birds standing on one leg, "does she have only one leg?"

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  26. Thank you for your comment, as it turned out both birds had two legs, just having a rest I'm thinking.

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  27. Congrats on the Dippers! They're real beauties!

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  28. Hi Gordon! Thanks for stopping by! The mini birder and I are doing well! I've been away from blogging for a bit as things here were very busy. They have slowed now, but I'm just enjoying some extra time. We are headed to the UK next week for my husband to present a paper then some holiday time (we are headed to Manchester, Stratford Upon Avon/Coventry, and North Wales). I'm really looking forward to seeing some new birds! Hope all is well with you! Take care, Tammy

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    Me gusta mucho el tuyo.
    http://anna-historias.blogspot.com.es.

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