Sunday, 19 January 2014

Unusual Dipper at Figgate Park, Edinburgh 18 Jan 2014

Looking good for cinclus?
I am in the habit of checking (and photographing if possible) every Dipper I come across in Edinburgh in case it is a continental Black-bellied Dipper subspecies cinclus. So far, while occasional individuals look darker, the broad chestnut band beneath the white bib can be seen once good views are obtained. One of Saturday's three birds (two at Figgate Park and one at Musselburgh) on the other hand genuinely had a much darker belly with only a narrow chestnut band. This appeared to flare a little more on one breast and this latter asymmetric anomaly makes me wary of attempting to assign it to any race, although it looks closest to the subspecies hibernicus found on the west coast of Scotland. The validity of separating hibernicus from our gularis has been questioned so I think there will be little chance of establishing the subspecific identity of this individual... Back to gulls maybe?

Still looking good...
Aww.. maybe not?... just a little too much of a hint of chestnut beneath the white bib?
But certainly different from normal, especially with this view
Too much of a blob of chestnut on this side
Ah well, every dipper is worth more than a look anyway
Blurry shot but gives a good indication of colours of bird's belly

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