Dippers Again

Another trip to Aberdare and Mountain Ash today, this time with a bit more snow. As usual I stopped off by the river at Aberdare to look for the Dippers. Reaching the footbridge over the river I heard a Dipper calling and within seconds both of the birds flew fast and low under the bridge. I got them in the binoculars just as the first one landed in the water, disappearing under the surface. This is something I have not seen before. The other bird alighted on a rock and then entered the water in the more usual way. These birds are very confiding unlike others I have seen, maybe with a footpath running alongside the river they are more used to people as they are quite happy being watched at close quarters. After a couple of minutes they flew a little further upstream and started feeding again. They were constantly dipping their heads under the surface and appeared to be finding plenty of food. A lot of other avian activity here with eight other species seen. Then it was onto Mountain Ash where, after my delivery I was unable to stay for my break as another vehicle was due to arrive. On my way back to Swindon I noted a good number of gulls in the area around the tip just before Junction 15. Unfortunately a hard area to bird due to limited access. I took the long route home via Barbury Castle where a Mipit and a Stonechat were posing on adjacent fence posts and there were a couple of flocks of Fieldfare.

2 responses to “Dippers Again

  1. Sounds quite similar to the location I see Dippers, Malcolm: by the River Frome running through Stroud. There is a quiet path runs by the river through Frome Banks and there is a lovely sense of wildness given the bypass runs further up the bank. They seem quite confiding there, in fact I managed to get to within 12 feet of one on one occasion. Come the new year I’m going to belatedly start a patch list there (Can you add species retrospectively when you do that?). Yesterday I did not see any Dippers but did have Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and Nuthatch so not bad for a bit of lunchtime birding right by the office.
    Richard

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