Sunday, 13 January 2013

Black-bellied Dipper

It was a fine morning yesterday and, despite my cold and the cold, news that the previously ephemeral Black-bellied Dipper at Thetford was showing again had me hitting the road for the further reaches of the county. Reaching the car park I was getting my scope out of the boot when a photographer wandered by. I asked him if the bird was showing and with the reply "down to 10 feet" the scope went back in the boot.
Sure enough, as I crossed the wooden bridge I saw the Dipper straight away. Having been previously so elusive the bird seemed now to be positively posing for the photographers. Between active bouts of feeding when it would dive in to the stream, surface every time with a caddis fly larva which would then have the hell beaten out of it to reveal a very fat, juicy white body, it would sit motionless for periods of time in full view. It would turn from time to time as if to present a better angle and seemed utterly unconcerned by the machine-gun sound of numerous motor drives firing simultaneously. The photographers were in heaven and even my photos aren't too bad.

Back home my patchwork list increased by one with 3 Fieldfares sat in the tops of the oaks, a cold weather movement perhaps.

Today, I've been completed floored by a virus on top of my cold. High temperature, aching joints etc have kept me indoors apart from feeding the sheep, a job that has to be done however ill you feel. One of the downsides of keeping livestock I suppose.

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