Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Saturday 24th January 2009


We had to go to Tavistock today to visit the father-in-law, who's just moved house. On arrival, we had time for a quick walk alongside the River Tavy before the visit, so off we went. It was a sunny, but cold day with a north-westerly breeze. After our walk, a couple of light showers passed through. There wasn't really much to see birdwise, until I spotted a Dipper stood on a small rock almost at water level. It suddenly plunged in to the river (about a foot deep here) and surfaced again with a tiny fish. It beat it against a rock and rubbed it up and down a couple of times before swallowing it! Abruptly, it plunged back into the water and again, surfaced with another tiny fish, which it gave the same treatment as the first. This occurred perhaps another 3 or 4 times before the bird just settled down to stand on the rock, blinking its white eyelids every so often. I have always been intrigued by dippers, since finding my first one as a small child on my local river in Wiltshire. I have watched them for hours over the years, finding them quite unique. I have watched them walking under water lots of times, always going upstream whilst submerged, the force of the water keeping the bird stuck to the bottom. They soon bob up again when they want to! The Tavistock bird was my first this year. At the end of our little walk, I noticed a pair of Goosander flying high over the town, following the course of the river downstream.

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