Dipper in the Scottish Borders

Golden Eagle

Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)

Look along any stream or riverbank in the Borders at any time of the year and you are likely to see a little bird at the water’s edge bobbing up and down and frequently cocking its tail. The dipper is a fascinating little bird as it can walk into fast flowing water and walk along the bottom for up to 30 seconds in search of food. To stabilise itself underwater, the dipper holds out its wings as it goes in search of insect larvae and fresh water shrimp.

Dippers are small and stout with a short tail and have a distinctive white throat and breast against their dark brown-black plumage. They have relatively long legs for their size and sharp claws that enable them to hold onto rocks in fast flowing water. Dippers make their nests out of moss with a lining of grass and roots close to the water’s edge on ledges, crevices and beneath bridges during the summer months.




Image courtesy of Stuart Scott Images