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Gallery: Mesmerising black bellied dipper takes up residence in Thetford

17:00 15 February 2013

Dipper nesting Beresford Dale late March

Dipper nesting Beresford Dale late March

A RARE treat awaits photographers in Thetford and they are travelling from far afield to capture an unusual visitor in action.

Brian and Margaret Holland, of Ipswich, have travelled to the far-flung corner of Suffolk to see the spectacle for themselves.

They explained: “Since November there has been a mesmerising little bird in Thetford which has attracted many wildlife photographers as it is rather unusual.

“This is a black bellied dipper.

“Their native countries are in Scandinavia, France, with some in Spain, so clearly this one has wandered off course although we do see the occasional sighting in the UK at this time of year.”

Mr Holland continued: “Like our native dippers their favourite food is the caddis larvae which they take from the bottom of streams and for this the bird has to literally walk under water, usually upstream against the current. To watch them is a real treat as they busy themselves bobbing up and down characteristically.”

Explaining how the dippers vary from our native species, Mr Holland added: “The difference between them appears to be marginal but the black bellied one has indeed a much darker area beneath that white.”

Have you seen the black bellied dipper? Send your photos, and other wildlife shots, to

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