Can you help us count the dippers on the river worth?
We adopted the dipper on our logo as it is a frequent sight along the river. This little black/brown bird with a white throat can be seen flitting from rock to rock and occasionally diving underwater to search for insect nymphs on the bottom. However we are concerned that there may not be as many dippers on the Worth as there should be.
Dipper territory is usually about a 1 kilometre stretch of river for a single pair, we believe the density on the Worth may be much less than this. So this year we plan to survey the number of breeding pairs on the Worth catchment, that is, Bridgehouse Beck, North Beck, and the Worth itself. We would appreciate your help.
The best way to assess dipper numbers is to look for nesting sites in the spring. Dippers favourite nesting place is in holes in man made structures such as bridges, walls, weirs and culverts. Nest sites can be traditional, there is a site which is said to have been nested in continuously for over 120 years. Their nesting time is from early March to the end of May.
You don't need to be a full blown twitcher to help, just reporting seeing a dipper when you are by the river will help. We are asking for people to report all sightings of dippers, and the activity of the bird at the time, which may be a simple fly-past, gathering nesting material, feeding, and maybe taking that food back to a nest for the young, the surest confirmation that breeding is taking place. In making these observations, please never get too close to disturb the birds. If you are familiar with What3words location finder a what3words location would be a great help but if you are not into the tech. then a straight forward description of the location is good.
At the end of the breeding season we will collate the observations to form a map of dipper presence on the Worth. Depending on the results of the survey, next year we may install dipper nest boxes under suitable bridges along the river.
If you would like to help with the survey please email us on email@example.com