Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dipping, fighting and wagging

Setting off from the car park in quite dull weather yesterday, Myself, Brian and my Dad headed for the river straight away and on the way finding a Siskin feeding on the feeders near by on reaching the river after a short walk, we stood looking out to see if we could see anything, I noticed a ball of mud under the bridge, I had the suspicion that it would a Dippers nest because of the shape and size and on asking Brian he confirmed this, I was rather pleased!
 With no sign of any dippers we moved on and as we started the walk up to the moors with the rest of the RSPB group, we were told that we missed a kingfisher flying upstream. 
Willow warbler and Chiffchaff were singing and Curlew could be heard in the distance, Lapwing displayed in the fields and Red grouse could be seen very far off sitting on the stone walls. As we neared the moor I spotted a Meadow pipit sitting in a field after taking a few pictures, we moved on to the moor on which Red grouse were there in abundance, the hail belted down as I was trying to sneak closer and closer along the floor towards a Male grouse, It didn't move and even with the bad light and hail I managed a few pictures.
After this we walked back to the river and found a single Dipper flying up stream, a little further down the Derwent we found a pair of Grey wagtails and a large amount of  Pied wagtails  but no more Dipper until reaching the bridge we had set off from  Two dipper stood next to the bridge and the female cautiously went into the nest and the male went into the nest with food not long after  he then left and headed up stream. Before leaving we were treated to some unusual Dipper behaviour. 
The male flew down stream and over a little wall away from the water and rushing around the wall found him attacking a car's window and mirror before flying back over the wall and into the nest, if anyone can explain this it would help! my theory was it knew the mirror was there and thought it was an opposing male so attacked it to try and deter it from "his" Territory.
A quick stop at the Derwent hide didn't bring very much apart from Lapwing, far off  Linnet, distant Buzzard, Blue tit and Chaffinch and a friendly "Black" Pheasant called Ian, who while I put some feed in the feeders came very close to me and even at one point attempted to feed from my hand.
Meadow Pipit

Red Grouse (Male)

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Grey Wagtail

Pied Wagtail




Dipper Nest (Male going in)


"Black" Pheasant, after reading up he is actually
a common cross green pheasant

"Ian" the pheasant 



  1. I realised yesterday more than ever that your field skills are very sharp Sam! Great shots of course. Especially like that Grey Wagtail!
    I'm sure you have the Dipper territorial issue correct Sam. There was some issues about it that I will discuss when I see you.
    I'm hoping Ian wasn't too cold last night, or battered too much with hailstones as we were at one point!!!

  2. liking the Grey Wag Sam, and great behaviour shot of the Dipper on the mirror :)

  3. Fab shots. I bet not many people anywhere have photographed a Dipper attacking a mirror, lol! I'd maybe see about getting that published someplace.