Society of Wildlife Artists blog: Watching dippers

Darren is seeing signs of spring everywhere - from new plants sprouting in his garden to dippers on his local river. All great inspiration for a wildlife artist. 

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Dipper on rock watercolour painting by Darren Rees
Darren is seeing signs of spring everywhere - from new plants sprouting in his garden to dippers on his local river. All great inspiration for a wildlife artist. 
 
Snowdrops in the garden are one obvious sign, gently lengthening days another - spring is finally on its way. And, for the birdwatcher, there are other indications that the year is on the turn.
 
Resident birds are starting to expand their vocal repertoires – skylarks are releasing short bursts of song in the fields around my house and great tits are starting to string a few melodic notes together. I’ve even noticed the blue tits tidying the nestbox.
 
Along nearby rivers, dippers are pairing up and chasing each other around. One of my favourite spots to watch them is the Falls of Leny, above Callendar in The Trossachs.
 
 
With lots of white water and stones to sit on, this is a perfect stretch of river to watch their comings and goings. Their song is difficult to hear above the sound of tumbling water, but I can just make out the simple ditty as I sit and paint.
 
Watch dippers and you fall for their charms; the perky gait, their feisty penchant for diving headlong into cold water, that flirty blink of their white eyelid. Go and see them if you can.
 
For more information about dippers, visit the RSPB site here
 

 

Darren Rees has been painting wildlife for over 20 years and is one of the UK's most highly respected nature artists. His first solo book Bird Impressions was published in 1993 to much critical acclaim. He is a knowledgeable naturalist and also acts as a guide on wildlife tours around the world. To visit Darren's website click here.

To visit the SWLA's website, click here

 

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