Dancing Dippers, Mystery Mammals and Bounding Boulders

A very interesting walk by the river today.

https://cxo-factor.com/14-cat/dating.html There were 3 dippers flying around the river today. It appeared to be a pair and a.n.other (possibly this years brood). They didn’t seem too keen to have it around. They were singing and displaying in a way I have never seen before!


Further along the river on a fallen down tree the was a squirming dark brown shape! Something was eating what appeared to be a fish. First thoughts were Otter but now I’m not so sure, could have been an American Mink. The photos are a bit inconclusive. See what you think.

Otter or Mink

Otter or Mink


The birds were plentiful, lots of wrens singing, blue tits, great tits, mallard, and moorhens. Plus an unidentified large flying brown thing, initially thoughts said duck, but that doesn’t seem to sit right (or fit the bill, ho ho). So I guess I’ll never know. It flew past and I couldn’t find it again.

The birds do seem to be acting a little strangely and I guess it is due to the work being done on the river. They have JCBs and cranes in it rebuilding the boulders that act as flood defense. It is an awful lot of upheaval, this must have an effect. They have built a ramp down from the field into the river and are now working on the corner of the river (must have driven JCB about 400 yards down the river) where Osric (the dog) goes in to paddle. They are ripping the boulders out and then putting them back up. An awful lot of greenery is coming away when they do it.

The Story so far…..

When I was younger I was obsessed with birds. As I got older I stupidly drifted away from it all. I still looked around but didn’t take that much notice.

In May 2009 a couple of Coal Tits started visiting the bird feeders. I started watching again. As as a happy coincidence Springwatch started and I was hooked again.

My wife and I are learning again together. Although it has been surprising what I learnt as a kid was still there, it just needed to be dug out of the recesses of my mind.

We wiped the slate clean and restarted our life list on 1st June 2009.

Since we have started birding we have spread out into Butterflies, Bats and now Macro Moths. We are trying to document through photos as well.