Friday and Saturday were spent going around a whole load of Dipper nests in our RAS area in Shropshire and Mid Wales. This time of the year we would expect to be ringing most of the broods but things got off to a very slow start this year with many pairs almost a month later than normal! In all 73 regular sites were checked, 59 of which showed some signs of occupancy (a nest or part-built nest). 31 pairs were still laying or incubating eggs and 23 full clutch sizes were obtained (1 x 6, 16 x 5 & 6 x 4).
Only 18 nests contained chicks (and two of the broods were dead in the nest). 11 broods, totalling 43 chicks in all, were ringed. In addition, 4 adults were colour-ringed at the nest and another 14 adults were identified from existing colour-rings.
We don't colour-ring all our pulli Dippers because, unfortunately, the vast majority of them will never be seen or heard of again once they fledge. Young birds ringed in the nest are colour-ringed if they are caught again in the autumn during roost monitoring.