Friday, 11 March 2011

Cinclus Cinclus, River Aln.

The highlight of a visit to Hulne Park on Sunday with Bigfoot was a pair of Dippers scouring the riverbank carrying nesting material in their beaks while doing so. I thought they might be looking for an appropriate site as they kept landing on rocks and disappearing into crevices in the bank. Other birds of note while out on Sunday included a pair of Treecreepers interacting, drumming Woodpeckers and soaring Buzzards on a number of occasions. I also had a very brief sighting of a Red Squirrel early on.
I ended up returning again on Wednesday after my walking pal Mr. Cheviot suggested a visit as he wanted to photograph Brizlee Tower a grade 1 listed folly, built by the famous architect Robert Adam, which overlooks Hulne Park.
This image was from Sunday, with nesting material.
While this was on Wednesday. The bird flew up and into the underside of the bridge before zipping off up Shipley Burn. On inspection i found this nest under the bridge.


  1. Dippers have always been on my list of favourite birds every since I came to the NE 35 years ago. Not often that you see them perching in branches like that, is it? Strange how you can often hear their song above the noise of a river flowing over stones - must have evolved just the right pitch for them to communicate above the background noise!

  2. I must admit to having a soft spot for Dippers Phil. The thought that they swim underwater fascinates me and you can just about see them doing it. As i recall, the branch was part of a bough lodged in the river. You tend to know they are flying through also due to the zit,zit noise they make in flight.

  3. Very nice photos John. I'm another fan of the Dipper. Dippers are one of a select group of birds I would be happy to sit and watch for hours.
    I remember finding a massive nest when in N Ireland a few years ago. The youngsters heads kept poking out when food was on the way. I was amazed at the size of the nest. Cheers. Brian.

  4. Hi Brian. I read somewhere that the Dipper only uses a small part of its nest. It's hard to tell in the image above but it was larger than i had expexted it to be, being my first. Can't put my finger on it but they do have that little something that compells you to watch them.
    Called by Killy Lakes for an hour this afternoon. Great Crested Grebes on both lakes but no action. I see there is what looks like a resident male Goosander making itself comfy under the trees by the floating reedbed. LOL.

  5. cracking captures John,great range captures of behaviour habits,

  6. Thank you Dave.Much appreciated.