Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Dipper hunting in Derbyshire and Sheffield

Dipper, Cinclus cinclus
We headed north for our annual migration to Sheffield on Monday. We missed out last year due to Sue's first knee operation which was still healing with the second due last February. These have been successful so she is mobile again. My aim this visit was to see a Dipper. The only one I have previously seen was in the late 60's in Teasdale when I was hiking with Rob in our student days. Research had indicated that Dippers were found in Lathkill Dale in the valley below our favourite Derbyshire watering hole, the Lathkil Hotel. So on Tuesday we headed out early and parked in the car park above the river. I found that the weekly pheasant shoot, normally held on a Wednesday, had been brought forward to Tuesday this week. Some of the shooters told me Dippers had been seen within a week along the stretch I was to search. The bird eluded me, but we had excellent coffee at the Lathkil Hotel.

to view videos of the Lathkill River: click here and here

  Ken said he had seen Dippers a few years ago on the River Porter in Endcliffe Park. They have also been reported on the River Don in Sheffield in recent years. So I decided to explore an interesting stretch of the Porter Brook on the outskirts of Sheffield. I spotted a rocky riverside cliff which I felt any self respecting Dipper would love to nest in. A few minutes later a brown bird flew upstream. In high alert I checked the river carefully and finally spotted my first Sheffield Dipper. I followed it upstream and down again and was delighted to obtain some photos of this beautiful bird. It dipped and plunged into the stream and entertained me for some time. I also spotted a Grey Wagtail and a Wren.

Lathkill River
view from The Lathkil Hotel
Lathkil Hotel
The Deceiver, Laccaria laccata
Porter Brook:
Dipper dipping, Cinclus cinclus

Forge Dam

Velvet Foot, Flammulina velutipes
Velvet Foot, Flammulina velutipes
Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea

River Porter

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you didn't dip on the Dipper. Happy Christmas!
    Best Wishes, Neil


Please select 'Name/URL' from 'Comment as' drop down box and add your name, thanks.