Thursday, 8 December 2016

A Dipper at Bassingbourn

29th November 2016

The Dipper Cinclus cinclus is a species that is widespread in most of Europe and has 13 sub-species. The nominate species, the Black-bellied Dipper, Cinclus cinclus cinclus breeds in northern Scandinavia and migrates south during the winter with a few individuals reaching the UK, often turning up in areas where Dippers are not usually present. The UK sub-species, C.c gularis is totally sedentary and is confined to south-west and northern England and Scotland.

However, this year a Dipper has been found in Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, and instead of being the expected Black-bellied form, shows all the hall-marks of being one of the sedentary UK sub-species. Anyway, I went down to have a look and eventually found the bird. It was quite mobile, flying quite freely, in fact I never got close enough to disturb it.

But then it flew up in to a tree and seemed to settle down allowing a few shots to be taken. Well, it certainly isn't a Black-bellied Dipper as would be expected , but whether it is an eastern european  or a UK sub-species we will never know.

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