Monday, 12 March 2012

A Dipper, reported as a European Black-bellied (cinclus), on the River Aire at Shipley, West Yorkshire

March 8, 2012:
A Dipper seen on the River Aire just downstream from the railway bridge at Shipley had been reported on several occasions as being of the European race (cinclus). However, rather than having a totally black belly it had a distinct rusty-brown band below its white bib. Whether this is within the range of variation of cinclus or whether it's a case of the bird being misidentified, is open to question. It was very confiding, perching close-by on a rock in the river and preening for a long period. Being so approachable might indicate it to be a foreign migrant but the presence of the rusty colouration on the upper belly wasn't entirely convincing. Either way, it was a nice bird to see and especially so at such close range.


  1. Hi Michael,

    This looks very much like one of the usual UK Dippers (Cinclus cinclus gularis) that we have in good numbers around Shipley. I've not yet seen the C.c. cinclus (only tried this Monday), and was unsure of the ID after some local birders told me they were sceptical. But, after speaking to others and seeing photos, I'm more confident there is a Black-bellied around. Photo here:

    Still, I'd like to see it for myself though!


    1. Thanks for your comments Nick. Yes, this seems to be a normal Dipper but I would like to see the genuine one if still around.