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Purple on the rocks

  I have the real pleasure of writing my first blog post of 2022 about a trip to Battery Point, Portishead, Bristol to photograph Purple Sandpipers (Calidris Maritima). As many of my readers will know I love waders probably above all bird species and so when I had the opportunity to get some pictures with my good friend Paul Joy of this rare, specially protected and very confiding wader species that winters in the UK coastland I was really excited. Up until this point I had never seen a Purple Sandpiper. They are small waders, bigger than a Dunlin but slightly smaller and less robust than a Turnstone.  They migrate to the UK in the winter from as far away places as Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Fennoscandia and Russia. They then spend their time along the coasts roosting and feeding on various rocky outcrops. They have a preference for rocks covered with seaweeds where they forage for insects, molluscs and crustaceans. They get their names because of a Purple sheen that can be seen in t

A flash of white in the river

I am keeping an eye on my local Dippers. I listen for their distinctive calls and look for the flash of their white throat and breasts against the dark background of the river.

It did not take me long to find one. It was busy working its patch of river. Bobbing up and down on prominent rocks and then plunging into the water. They are amazing birds to watch. Perfectly adapted for their environment. Waterproof plumage, strong claws that can grip the river bed - even in full flow and eyes that can see under water.

As ever the Dippers I watched today were finding plenty of food. Mainly Caddis fly larvae.

Apart from a little meet up between the pair their was not a great deal of interaction or displaying today. They frequently called out to each other but eventually went their separate ways.

Dipper (Cinclus Cinclus)

About to plunge into the cold water

Calling Dipper


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