DIPPERS (Cinclus cinclus), River Tone [v17.04, 14 ADDITIONS]
I had seen American Dippers (Cinclus mexicanus) on a trip to Canada. But it wasn't until March of 2015 that I first saw the White-throated (and more attractive) species. The site in question was on private land adjacent to the River Tone and I was lucky enough have access to view and photograph two adult Dippers at several places therein. Before long it became clear that the birds were making arrangements to breed and were seen transporting material to the (concealed) nest. Around mid-May the Dippers could be seen bringing various foodstuffs to the nest. As might be expected, they were very cautious. We stood back and waited.
Towards the end of May two (at least) fledgling Dippers, escorted by their parents, made their appearance. Unfortunately I was not able see/photograph them then but a few days later on 31 May I managed to get a few (ordinary) photos of one of the brood. However I had better luck the following morning and got several photos of a (different) young Dipper including some of the bird blinking to expose its white upper eyelids, possibly as a danger alert. An alternative explanation is courtship but the nice fellow, assuming it was a ‘he’, would seem a bit young for that.
All in all it has been a wonderful experience. I am sorry I could not disclose details of the site and chose not to release photos of the Dippers until after (successful) breeding. I hope, however, that the photographs in this gallery go some small way towards sharing that experience.
V17.04 ADDITIONS: two photos from October 2015 (57-58) and eleven from March 2016 (59-69). I had hoped to get some photos from 2017 but so far that has not proved possible, although I remain hopeful.
© David Rayner Photography