Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford

The Dipper Cinclus cinclus gularis, or the White-breasted Dipper to give it it's full name, is found by running water in south-western, western and northern England, Wales and Scotland and has a chestnut band between the black and white on the breast. It is totally absent from much of the Midlands, eastern and south-eastern England. However, the nominate race, the Black-bellied Dipper Cinclus cinclus cinclus breeds in northern Europe and wanders to milder regions in winter. Unlike the UK resident, the White-breasted Dipper, it has no chestnut band on the breast which is totally black and white.

A few individuals make it to the UK each winter and this year one was discovered at Thetford next to the BTO headquarters. It had managed to find an overflow from the River Thet which had produced a fast-flowing stream through to another watercourse, an ideal habitat. I managed to locate the bird after about twenty minutes and found it to be very confiding as it went about its business of finding food under the submerged stones. The light was poor, but with an increase in ISO I was able to get a collection of shots. I must admit that photographing a Dipper without having to go to Devon or Derbyshire was quite unexpected.




















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