River Ness bird's underwater exploits an online sensation

A FILM of a dipper bird diving underwater in the River Ness has made a major Internet splash - with over half a million viewers so far.

The dipper bird under water in the River Ness. Picture: Contributed
The dipper bird under water in the River Ness. Picture: Contributed

Ness District Salmon Fishery Board posted footage of the bird ‘swimming’ , which was filmed last week, and have been astonished at it becoming an online hit.

Chris Conroy, board director, said: ”The clip is fascinating of the dipper diving down and foraging on the river bed. But we couldn’t have imagined how popular it would become in a matter of days.

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“It has been viewed 532,000 times, which is superb. Over 9,000 people have shared the clip on their own Facebook pages and over 1200 viewers have ‘liked’ it.

“It’s a terrific response, with comments from people worldwide. Folk who stroll along the banks of the Ness can often see the dipper darting over the water surface, but this footage shows how surprisingly long it can stay underwater.”

Mr Conroy added:”We were posting underwater footage online of spawning salmon on the Ness last week, which proved very popular with people as far away as Sweden, where spawning finished in October.

“We explained that our late spawning was due to the influence of Loch Ness. The scale of the water flowing out of the loch and in to the River Ness means the water takes much longer to cool during winter, thus allowing late spawning.

“Our underwater camera was fixed to monitor salmon – but suddenly the fish were ‘photobombed’ by the dipper! We posted a separate clip of the dipper on the river bed and in no time it went viral.”

He added:”This small bird’s exploits has fired people’s imagination and we had comments from viewers in the United States, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Norway and most other western European countries.

“As well as finding the clip charming, viewers are really surprised at how the dipper can move under the water and how long it stays down. We seem to have made a star out of one local dipper.”