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A rare species in Dorset that may nest on the upper reaches of the River Frome.



Photograph by: 
Pam Parsons

Dipper: Dipping out

Post date: Wednesday, 28 October, 2015 - 00:00

I always associated the dipper (Cinclus cinclus) with fast running streams in the granite country of Dartmoor, Wales, northern England and Scotland so when I moced to Dorset I was surprised to find that dipper occur on the species list of some nature reserves in Dorset. Further research reveals that they are pretty rare in Dorset but do occur in the far west of the county on the upper reaches of the River Frome and on a couple of its tributaries. It is listed as occurring at Kingcombe and Brackets Copse which both have fast flowing streams running through them but how recent or reliable these records are I do not know.

The best source of information about this sort of thing is, naturally I suppose, the excellent annual report published by the Dorset Bird Club which seems to suggest a couple of pairs nest on the Frome near Frampton and Maiden Newton where the river is much wider than at KIngcombe or Brackets but still quite fast flowing. I have had a couple of forays across to the far side of the county in the hope of seeing them but, to use the 'twitchers' term for failing to spot ones prey, I dipped out!

The photograph I have I took in Wales and although it is from far the best you will see it does show the view you are likely to get before it flies off in search of food, they are very active birds.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Dipper
Scientific Name Cinclus cinclus
Status Local
Interest Level
Species Family Other Small Land Birds
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Preferred Environment
  • Rivers
Look for A small. bobbing bird on fast flowing streams and rivers
Additional Identification Notes
  • Uncommon in Dorset and confined to a couple of fast flowing rivers in the extreme west of county
  • Known for their ability to walk under water!
  • Frequently seen on rocks in streams and have a habit of bobbing, or dipping, up and down