I have just had four days over in Ireland with Wicklow ringers Damian Clarke and Ann Fitzpatrick. Having been introduced to Dipper ringing on his trips over to Wales, Damian is keen to start a RAS project for Dippers in Wicklow but at present only has a specific A permit for raptors and Raven. I said I'd pop over and provide a bit of training for roost catching Dippers and also for lamping Woodcock to give them a bit more to do in the long winter months! Unfortunately the timing of these activities clashed somewhat with another favourite Irish pass-time although we did manage a couple!
Ireland has four distinct subspecies and whilst I was over we managed to catch three out of the four. Dipper is one, with the Irish race showing less chestnut on the breast and resembling a half-way stage between our dipper and the Black-bellied Dipper found on the continent.
Irish sub-species of Dipper, with less chestnut on the chest and also slightly larger I thought. The largest one of the 55 we caught was 103 mm and the heaviest weighed 78 grams.
Irish Coal Tit shows much yellower cheeks than ours.
and not sure what the distinct difference is here as I've not handled enough British ones! Less famous perhaps!
The fourth (elusive) subspecies is Jay. Didn't see any of them.
Greylag Gosse. We have these in Wales too but it was a first for me so all good training. Unfortunately I doubt it was one of those that come down from Iceland for the winter though!