11 November 2011

Dipper in Essex

Continental Black-bellied Dippers are recorded most years on the islands in the north of Scotland and on the east coast of the UK. However, ringing recoveries have been surprisingly lacking in the origin of these migratory Dippers that visit the UK in the winter.

More than 1900 Dippers were ringed under the BTO ringing scheme during 2010, most of them ringed as chicks (1700). Encounters of ringed adults are rather low, outside of special projects and recoveries of foreign ringed birds are very unusual.

So we were quite surprised when we had a phone call about a Dipper from Norway! This is the fourth ever recovery of a Dipper with a foreign ring found in the UK and this bird was unfortunately attacked by a cat near Colchester, Essex.

We don't know yet where in Norway this bird came from but previously we have had three other movements of Dippers between the British Isles and Scandinavia, as the map below illustrates.

The one in Purple was ringed as a chick on 22 May 2004 near Bergen and later controlled by ringers in Voe (Shetland Mainland) on the 2 Feb 2006. The one in yellow was ringed as a chick north of Kristiandsand (south Norway) on the 31 May 1993 and later found killed by car the 28 Oct 1993. The one in red was ringed as an adult on 4 Mar 1985 in Orkelljunga (south Sweden) and controlled by a ringer two years later in Crail (Fife Region) on 3 Apr 1987.

View The Only Way is Essex in a larger map

Thanks to Jon Evans for the photograph of the Black-bellied Dipper.

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