An Expensive Dipper

As it was such a nice morning I decided to get a bit of motorbike birding done. So, where to go? I got up a bit late to go to the south of the county so it was either Greenham Common or the By Brook at Box. The chance of a Wiltshire Year Tick won the day so it was off to Box. I parked in the playing field car park and as I was changing into my walking gear I heard an ominous hissing sound. Great, a puncture, just what I need! However birding comes first so it was off along the river for me. A short walk west took me to the most likely spot and I settled down to wait. Nuthatch was heard and Bullfinch heard and then seen. A bird flew onto the rocks in the river, is it? No, but a very smart Grey Wagtail, quickly joined by another. A lady came past with her dogs and asked if I was birdwatching and looking for the Dipper. When I answered in the positive she informed me that she saw it here every day. This was good news and made the waiting a bit easier. After ten minutes or so a Dipper appeared and gave great views. It was picking food from both on and under the water. It didn’t come particularly close but stayed for a good amount of time. On the walk back to the bike I saw three Beautiful Demoiselle Damselflies. This is the third year running I have seen them here and is also the only place I have seen them. I even managed a reasonable picture. Then it was back to the puncture. With a can of repair goo and some help from the RAC (followed me for fifteen miles to re-inflate the tyre) and stops at three garages I managed to get home. Finally, a trip to the tyre place relieved my wallet of just over a hundred pounds for a new tyre. The worst of it was the damaged one had also been new. I had only done a hundred and fifty miles since having it fitted. Certainly not quite the day I had planned.


4 responses to “An Expensive Dipper

  1. The Bybrook is the best place to see Beautiful Demoiselle in Wiltshire. There are other places but this is the easiest [and closest to Swindon]. You can find them from Box [and out of the county into Somerset] all the way up to Castle Coombe. Sorry to hear about the tyre – most annoying when that happens. I lost my high-tech water bottle today in the New Forest! It must have ‘jumped’ out of my bum-bag while I was jogging back to the car trying to avoid getting my camera wet in the sudden rain! It cost nearly £20..not the same as your tyre but annoying none-the-less :o/
    On the plus side I saw the rare Southern Damselfly and Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly [though not the orange form of the female which was my target for the day]. Also Woodlark, Stonechat and juvenile Redstarts. Plus a wader calling from in a bed of Cotton Grass which never showed but which I assume was a Snipe!

    • Better to sacrifice the water bottle over the camera. The Demoiselles were a bonus as I had forgotten they were there. Mind it is good to see anything like that at the moment. Sounds like you had a good day though. Which bit of the New Forest did you go? Nice area around the By Brook, shame it is a bit of a drive to get there. On the insect front I don’t know if this is of interest to you( This is a reserve on the Somme Estuary in Northern France and is close to where my sister lives.

      • Oh yes! A big difference in cost ;o) The area I went to is Latchmoor Brook which is just SE of Fordingbridge. It’s one of the closest good bits of the Forest you can get to fairly easily. Aah, a Mole Cricket! A great rarity in the UK, didn’t know they occurred on the near continent but no surprise really. I believe there are some good reserves in that area, must get over there some day…usually head a lot further south.

      • wiltsbirder

        Not a part of the Forest I know and not a place for taking your dog from what I have seen on google.
        I don’t think many people realise that the Northern Coast of France is such a good area for nature watching. Great habitat and not so far away.

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