Posts Tagged ‘Dipper’

Our second day in South Devon and we are out again with local naturalist and artist, Mike Langman. Our first stop is Broadsands Bay where Mike has been providing Supplementary feeding during the Winter. This project is aimed at helping the local speciality species Cirl Bunting survive through the winter. This species had declined so much that only a handful of pairs remained in a couple of spots in Devon. Since the beginning of supplementary winter feeding programme began at a number of sites throughout South Devon the number of birds has risen dramatically and the species is now expanding out from its traditional area into surrounding counties. We get excellent views of Cirl Buntings and Yellowhammers.

Yellowhammer

Moving on from Broadsands, we drive to Dartington in search of Dipper. Parking up we walk the stretch of river which is an established territory and had a couple of flight views before we eventually found a bird collecting leaves for its nest.

Dipper

Travelling South we moved onto Slapton Ley, a freshwater lake adjacent to the sea.

Common Lizard at Slapton Ley

We soon located a Ring-necked Duck, a visitor from North America, a number of whom have crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the winter. On the sea is a Black-necked Grebe.

Slapton Ley
Black-necked Grebe

Continuing our journey south we come to Beeson Ley, but there are only a few ducks. On the sea here though are a flock of 25 Common Scoter.

Turning north we stop at a wood just outside Dartmouth, where we locate a male Firecrest. Excellent views but this hyper-active bird will not stay in one place to be photographed.

Firecrest.
Photo by Ron Knight (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sussexbirder/)

After Mike dropped us off in Brixham, Keith and I walked out to the end of the harbour breakwater. We were rewarded with sightings of 1 or 2 Seals plus a pod of 6 Dolphins (probably Bottlenosed) plus the amazing sight of over 100 Pied Wagtails coming into roost on the boats in the harbour.

Dolphins

Pied Wagtail

A second excellent day. Our thanks to Mike for sharing his local knowledge and transporting us around.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Red-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps grisegena)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull (Common) [group] (Larus canus canus/heinei)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Firecrest [sp] (Regulus ignicapilla)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
White-throated Dipper [sp] (Cinclus cinclus)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)

River Dart

River Dart

Our second day in Devon found us exploring the southern part of the county with local birder Mike Langman. Our first stop was at Waddeton where we found some Cirl Bunting feeding on a cattle feeder. From here we moved onto a stretch of the River Dart near Buckfastleigh to look for Dipper. Although we did find 3 drake Mandarin ducks, a somewhat unexpected species, the Dipper was nowhere to be seen.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Our next stop was at Staverton where amongst the over-wintering Chiffchaffs we located a Yellow-Browed warbler that has been spending the winter here. Yellow-Browed is usually a species seen as a rare migrant but there appear to be a number over-wintering in Devon this year – maybe a result of the mild weather. Also present were a party of Fieldfare, together with single Mistle and Song Thrush. At the nearby river, we had a brief view of a Dipper flying under a bridge, but which we were unable to relocate.

Yellow-Browed Warbler. photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Yellow-Browed Warbler. photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

 

Still, we were not to be denied a good view of Dipper and at our next stop at Darlington Mill, we got some excellent views of one feeding in the stream.

Dipper

Dipper

On then to the south-west coast of Devon at Thurlestone to find another unusual over-wintering species, Desert Wheatear – a bird which is normally found in North Africa. The weather had taken a turn for the worse by the time we arrived and on our first look the small beach seemed deserted, but then Mike found the bird sheltering under the lee of the bank at the back of the beach. We managed excellent views as it began to feed amongst the undergrowth before returning to shelter from the conditions behind a stone.

Thurlestone Beach

Thurlestone Beach

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Stonechat

Stonechat

We moved on down the coast to South Huish Marsh where a number of species were added to our list including Wigeon, Shoveller, Teal and Little Grebe. We checked out the Gull roost but only common species were present.

South Huish Marsh

South Huish Marsh

Next, we crossed to the south-east coast to Slapton Ley where Great Crested Grebe, Pochard and Tufted Duck were added to the day’s list, but no Scaup or Black-necked Grebe, which are regular here could be seen.

Slapton Ley

Slapton Ley

After crossing the River Dart, we stopped briefly at Noss on the Dart to search the small woodland for firecrest and other woodland species. A Goldcrest was seen and a Great-Spotted Woodpecker was heard. An excellent day. Thanks to Mike for driving us around and showing us these great sites.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Desert Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe deserti)
White-throated Dipper [sp] (Cinclus cinclus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)

 

Bird picture of the year 2014

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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Looking back on all the birds I have photographed in 2014, there is no doubt which gave me the greatest satisfaction. It has to be the Dipper photographed in Kendal during our trip to Cumbria in the summer. It just kept on performing for the camera and it was so close. A once in a lifetime occurrence probably.

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Dipper

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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Some pictures and videos of the Dipper we saw recently on the river Kent at Kendal in Cumbria

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We visited Kendal in Southern Lakeland twice during our holiday. There was an information board by the River Kent as it runs through the town which told us what a great birdwatching site it was. Guess what we saw nothing the first time we were there. Thankfully we went back for another visit and this time we got all the local specialities.

River Kent in Kendal

River Kent in Kendal

It did not take us long to find a Grey Wagtail on the shingle at the edge of the river.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

There was a party of 5 Goosander lazing on the rocks in the middle of the river giving excellent views.

Goosander

Goosander

2 down 1 to go. Now where was that Dipper? Eventually without any sightings we began to walk back to the car park. Then suddenly a small dark bird flew past us down the river. yes it been there all the time but we hadn’t seen it. We walked down the river but couldnt locate where it had gone. Sue suggested that we go onto the road bridge over the Kent and look from there. Looking over the far side we found the bird right below us. It seemed completely unaware of us and allowed me to take photos and video it before it finally moved off.

Dipper

Dipper

Dipper

Dipper

Just goes to show even with resident birds two visits to the same place can produce two very different outcomes – that’s nature watching for you!