As regular readers of this blog know, I look after a section of a local river, the Water of Leith. One of the things I do is to note all the birds I see. I’ve been disappointed to not have seen a kingfisher in my six months of volunteering so far, even though I know they’re around in ‘my’ part of the river. I have however seen a lot of dippers. Dippers are lovely birds, they’re very smart looking with their white fronts and smart brown and black backs and heads. This plumage also is perfect camouflage for them. I love to watch dippers as they feed and I’ve noticed that if they dip their heads into fast flowing water then they seem to disappear, the white of their fronts blending in with the white water, their brown backs blending with the darker water and the rocks. I’ve also been able to see them as they swim under water, the Water of Leith is quite clear where it’s not rushing past in white-water! Dippers are also surprisingly vocal birds, they pipe away as they fly along the river and have a lovely song in the Spring, and if you’re lucky enough to see a family group, there’s bound to be a lot of chat going on between them.
On Monday of this week, the Water of Leith was lit with a yellowish glow as the pale sunlight filtered through all the autumnal trees. The dippers were flying about, busy as ever.
for Nature Notes