Dapper Dippers: Dipping a toe in surveying our river systems


Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog

One of the wildlife spectacles I am always enthralled by is the to-ings and fro-ings of the European dipper (Cinclus cinclus) along a watercourse, and you are guaranteed to see them on a stroll to Watersmeet.

White throated dipper by Irene Mel via Flickr White throated dipper by Irene Mel via Flickr

Dipper Cinclus cinclus by GrahamC57 via Flickr Dipper Cinclus cinclus by GrahamC57 via Flickr

This plump and charismatic bird thrives on clean rivers and streams, feeding on riverfly larvae and small fish. They are often spotted perched on a rock bobbing up and down; this is what has earned them the title of Dipper. They feed underneath the water and are incredibly well adapted for this activity with strong legs for withstanding rushing currents, broad wings for manoeuvring under the water and a thick plumage for warmth. The first time I watched a Dipper feeding I was amazed at how long they spend underneath the water. Check out the following video for a…

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