Saturday 13 May 2017

Dipper to be seen

Saturday 13 May

I may be back in the UK and thinking of an urgent visit to Velez de Benaudalla when I get back in a week's time to see if the Dippers have had a successful breeding season but an email from my friends John and Jenny Wainwright this morning confirms that they have found another potential breeding site at Rio Frio and much nearer to their Salar home and close by to those visiting the Sierra Loja.  A photograph form John (or was it Jenny?) of a young Dipper not long fledged and the adults hovering nearby.  I wonder how many successfully fledged from the brood, usually about 3.

Juvenile Dipper Mirlo-acuático Europeo Cinclus cinclus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

 The Whitethroated Dipper Cinclus cinclus subspecies in Spain

The BTO has an interesting article (see below) on the possibility of two separate sub-species of Dipper in Spain.

© 2010 British Trust for Ornithology,Ringing & Migration (2010) 25, 3–6
The White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclussubspecies in Spain
1 Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes, Padre Julio Chevalier 2, E-47012 Valladolid, Spain
2 Departamento de Zoología y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Navarra, E-31080
Pamplona, Spain
3 Universidad Católica de Ávila, Canteros s/n, E-05005 Ávila, Spain
Based on variations in breast plumage colour, two subspecies of White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus have been acknowledged to exist in Spain: C. c. cinclus in northwestern and central regions, and C. c.aquaticus in the eastern and southern regions. Within the White-throated Dipper’s Spanish range, 37 rivers were sampled between 2000 and 2007. Dippers with a brownish-red and dark brown breast plumage  were both present within the same large areas and rivers. Moreover, because plumage colour changes individually with age, no clear-cut geographical distribution pattern was found. These observations suggest that breast colour cannot be used to distinguish White-throated Dipper subspecies in Spain.
For the full report go to the following website:

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

1 comment:

  1. The Dippers at Velez de Benaudalla appear be nesting behind the drain pipe waterfall again. But as of 19th May the young haven't fledged yet. We saw an adult taking food to the nest. Not certain if it was both adults or just one.