We were hoping to start our Dipper pullus ringing today, but the five eggs were deserted, leaving us to curse those wild life 'lovers' who have inflicted Mink on us. Now Dippers are lovely birds with a confiding nature, and they don't desert their nests especially with well developed embryos; something had had the female. We have had them taken by cats in the past but the abundance of Mink in our rivers is causing concern. We trudged forlornly back to the cars, when the kee-keeing started, followed by the undulating flight and my first ever sound of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker drumming. No consolation for the lost Dippers, but not bad. Will I live long enough to see another?
I doubt it. For the benefit of all you Cinclophiles, the second nest of 5 eggs and the female were fine.