Bird song is building up now and the notable song of the Blackcap was heard along with the inevitable Chiffchaffs and other woodland species. The song of the Song Thrush was once again well represented. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard, but never seen. Jays were heard then eventually seen as we walked up river. Seed had been put out in places and this attracted Nuthatches, one of which had a clearly deformed curved bill, Treecreeper, tits and finches.
Flora seen along the way included Common Comfrey, Violet species, Forgetmenot species, Bluebell, Wild Garlic, Red Campion and the most prolific, Wood Anemone.
Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa (The pure white being far more abundant than the purple).
The bird species which took our attention, almost as much as the Dippers, were the Grey Wagtails once again, with a pair showing really well. Lack of activity seemed to me to suggest that these birds have not yet nested, but I may have that wrong. We watched a lone male bird at length up river before finding the pair later in the day. I can’t be sure if the lone male bird was or was not one of this pair found later.
Our day ended with a Dipper watch. Sam managed to capture very well the bird’s image in flight. It certainly is not an easy bird to photograph in flight and it took time to get to know its flight lines and behaviour. I captured it too, but afraid I have to practice somewhat to match his standards.:-) I think we may be back up here soon and hopefully, may find the Kingfisher the next time. We were given some advice on that subject from the friendly angler that we spoke to who has in past years found the Kingfishers nesting site during his expeditions on the river. This showing how valuable the experience is of someone who really knows the patch. All in all, it had been a very nice and relaxing day that I thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks Sam.
17th April. Today I’ve been on patch. It didn’t rain as forecast. Some interesting developments with the Great Crested Grebes. At least two Blackcaps, two Willow Warblers and numbers of Chiffchaff sang south of the village.
A recent political newsletter seems to suggest we can forget about any work being done on the floating reed-bed. The non-reedbed’s sad looking photo appears in the newsletter. It seems that even the new sports centre is threatened! That is according to the Conservatives and of course, and as far as they are concerned, it’s all the fault of the Labour Party. Oh, I see the local elections are coming up soon. Surprise, Surprise! The Labour Party newsletter has now arrived and low and behold I now see it is all the fault of the Conservatives! I best just go birding on 3rd May