Thursday, 29 March 2012

Big Dipper, little Dippers

Last evening on my way up to Lancashire on work I met up with Lloyd on the River Teme and we had a quick few hours checking some of the Dipper nests in our RAS scheme (well I needed to make the most of the fuel I had panic bought earlier!). Fourteen chicks from three broods were ringed (1 x 4 and 2 x 5) and we also mist-netted an un-ringed female. Trying to read the rings on females still incubating eggs proved a bit tricky as they usually just disappeared off downstream and were reluctant to return whilst an observer was near. We did manage to read the rings on 3 of the adults with young though and things should get much easier as the chicks get nearer fledging and the adults become bolder in their defence. The next few weeks should see loads more broods ringed but it will be very time-consuming if I have to go around them all on a bike - where did I put those Jerry cans?

That'll be a female then! Surely that would let in water?

First brood of Dippers for the year - spot on the right age for ringing at approx 8 days old

We don't colour-ring our pulli Dippers as so few make it through to breed the following spring. Colour-rings are added to any birds subsequently caught breeding or during autumn roost visits.

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