Sunday, 17 July 2011

The D-Team

Another month, another visit to Cwm Taf Fechan to catch dippers. The team this time was the same size as the last outing and by the same size we mean four times as big! Eight, 8, of us were at the river hoping for Bronwen y dwr to make a presence in the net. We also had the pleasure of being joined by Trainee Gillian Dinsmore, a native of Scotland but down in the sweet south of Wales on a placement with the WWT.

How many people does it take to catch a dipper?

Steph Tyler (who has probably forgotten more about dippers than most of us will ever know) told us that as the birds will be in moult, they can be very sulky this time of year and not inclined to be too active. Steph was not wrong. After a long wait, with nothing but a bacon buttie, good chat and a grey wag to entertain us we struck camp. We moved on and on seeing a dipper fly a little way down stream we put the net up in a very nice spot and decided to put in to practice something else Steph told us - send a part up and down stream of the net to walk the birds toward it. This we did and were rewarded with a fly over grey wag, followed shortly by a dipper in the net! A lovely juvvy female in moult, with her head and chest adult like and her body still in juvvy plumage.

The rest of the morning proved very frustrating. As we went to take down the net, another dipper came upstream and so quick action was required. In this instance it involved throwing our selves against a near by tree (while mentally shouting "Noooooooo!" Hollywood style) in time enough to see the bird bounce out. The next spot was ideal for dippers and we had two more bounces.

Cwm Taf Fechan`s totals

Dippers 10
Greywags 3(1)
Piedwags 1
Mallard 1
Chaffinch 2
Bacon Butties 3

In Next Month`s Episode of CTF Dippers;
Will Facey have mended his waders so people won`t have to witness him in shorts and wellies at 6am?
Will Haf be pushed in the river?
Will Dr O be persuaded to walk the river?

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