Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Water Ouzel

I was struggling to come up with a snappy title to do with Dippers so I decided to go with the theme from yesterday and look up an old folk name and I thought that Water Ouzel was one of the best. Apparently the Dipper was described by Turner, and other early writers, in literature in 1544 as 'Water Ouzel'. Other names include Bessie Ducker, Water Peggie and Bobby to name but a few.

After work Ian and I 'nipped' up to the Brock Valley to ring a brood of Dippers that he had found last weekend when out with the family. The nest was in a classic Dipper location nestled under an overhanging bank amongst tree roots.

Dipper Nest

There were three large pulli, with primary feathers emerged between a third and two thirds from the sheath, all crammed in the nest above. All three were quickly ringed and squeezed back into the nest and the adults were straight back in with food.

Afterwards we spent a few minutes watching a stonking male Kingfisher carrying a small fish back towards its nest burrow round the bend of the river upstream of where we were.


Robin Robinson said...

Very interesting and lovely head shots. We have an Ouzal in Colorado here in the U.S. I don't know if it's the same bird or not. It is a very fleet little bird that dashes and darts around on the edges of ponds and streams. My experience was that it was a solitary bird and a surprise in the Rockies where otherwise I was in an alpine desert.

Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello Robin,

Your American Dipper is very similar to ours and belongs to the same family 'Cinclus'. I have just had a quick look at your blog by the way and you have some cracking photos on there. I'll keep dropping by.