Sunday, 19 February 2012

Don't you just hate it when a plan doesn't come together...

Having not long come back from having spent four weeks in leaky waders in Senegal (more from the Vaf on that later), it was quite refreshing to be standing in the same leaky waders in a Welsh River on Friday. Luckily the latter, unlike the former, carries no chance of catching Bilharzia but it was a dam sight colder.

Thanks to the Merthyr Tydfil Anglering Associasion we've been able to expand our Dipper ringning activities north of the Taf Fechan Nature reserve all the way up to the Pontsicill Reservoir. So yesterday we (that being Facey, Twinkle Toes Hallam, Sherpa Solman, Lozzer and ASBO Howells) headed to the new stretch to obviously ring every dipper from the reservoir south to our old stomping ground.

ASBO Howells bringing his own touch to dipper catching

Lozzer and Twinkle Toes just after the second fly over from the birds at our
second site. Luckily we had moral snacks to keep us going

Of course, this being South Wales and one of our ideas it didn't go exactly according to plan. There were dippers galore as you'd expect given the excellent habitat but sadly these largely stayed out of the nets. We managed two new dippers and, having retreated to the safety of the familiarity of the reserve, three traps from last year. We also nabbed a retrapped Grey Wagtail. All in all it would have been a depressing day had it not been for the first bird of the day. 

The Gang waiting for dippers to fly in to the net further down stream. One eventually did.

We had just set the net at the first port of call when a Grey Heron Landed down stream. With a little encouragement from Twinkle Toes Hallam it causally flew up stream in to the net where ASBO Howells was waiting. This represents a first for the partnership too.

Twinkle Toes with the Partnership's first Grey Heron

Steve Ormerod left a comment on about the February 2010 Living World programme about dippers. For those that missed it then it can be found here . Its well worth listening to and to quote Steve "There is coverage of the Eurasian dipper's adaptation to aquatic life, and discussion of the recovery of rivers in the S. Wales coalfield from the atrocious pollution here in the 1970s."

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