Friday, April 17th 2015

Dippers are one of the first birds to nest, building and laying their eggs early in the spring. Today we visited four potential nesting sites under bridges around the training area. At two of these we found nests both containing five eggs.

A Dipper nest is a domed structure of moss, grass stems and leaves, with a wide entrance usually pointing down towards water. There is an inner cup of stems, leaves and hair. It is built by both males and females over a few weeks, with the female completing the lining to the inner cup. The birds may return to the same nest several times during the breeding season.

We will be going back in just under two weeks when hopefully the chicks will have hatched and be large enough to ring. On the reserve, signs of the approaching breeding season can easily be seen as you are walking around: summer migrants can be heard singing, many species can be seen collecting nesting material, and a Blue Tit has taken up residence in our camera box.

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