Thursday, 13 October 2011

Cwm Taf Fechan Dipper Extravaganza!

This morning at Cwm Taf Fechan, a small band of dipper catchers in the form of the Wildlife Trust’s Rob Parry, two students, and our very own RJF in the driver’s seat, found themselves striking feathered gold with 3 new dippers. This brings the site’s total to 15 dippers – with no retraps…

In the interest of the environment we are recycling
this picture of a dipper from a previous post.
All three of today’s birds were adults caught within the known range of a formerly ringed pair; these birds must surely be passing through? Can anyone inform us of Dipper population dynamics and territorial relationships at this time of year? Are we likely to be getting more new dippers or will this rich seam run dry?

We’ve now done 17 dippers so far this year. OK that might not seem a lot, especially when compared to the efforts of Dipper Don Tony Cross but for us we are on a little thing we like to call a Cinclus Roll; up until 2010 the Partnership only had three dippers on its database.

Although we oh so nearly chalked up a kingfisher for the site, we did manage to bag another grey wagtail, bring the site total to 4 and the year total to 5!

However, we didn’t see an otter…


  1. Nice going! Seems like hell of a lot of birds for one site, especially with no retraps! You do let them go again afterwards? Just checking! Many must surely be birds passing through. Peak dispersal of juvs is probably over now so unfortunately things may dry up a bit. As for the population stuff the real Dons, Steph Tyler and Steve Ormerod, researched just about everything possible re Dippers and wrote lots of papers and a Poyser but I'm sure you knew that!

  2. Thanks for the info Tony, we weren't sure if it was normal or not! We have been releasing them honest but were working on the theory that they were taking the rings off after release...! Hoping for some retraps next time. Steph and Steve’s Poyser is on order!


    1. You can hear a Feb 2012 edition of Radio 4's 'Living World' entirely devoted to dippers in South Wales at:

      There is coverage of the Eurasian dipper's adaptation to aquatic life, and discussion of the recovery of rivers in the S. Wales coalfield from the atrocious pollution here in the 1970s.