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Making do- additional (1 Viewer)

Managed to sneak out locally on Saturday afternoon. Still a bit dodgy underfoot, but this was my only chance of the weekend to get out- my Sunday had been nobbled for dad duties. And when I say 'Dad' I mean 'doing whatever the boss chick had planned for me.'

Anyway, back to Saturday. My mate Bill, he of the encyclopedic local knowledge, had tipped me off about woodcock and dipper at the abandoned village of Caldervale- better known as Fin Me Oot. The woodcock had been rooting about at the back of a manure heap, with the dipper in its traditional place on the Rotten Calder river. Obviously, the woodcock wasn't there, why would it be, but I still had hope for the dipper. Careful walk down to the river, and took my position on the green bridge, allowing me a view both up and downstream. This is a place I know well, and feel at home with. Bird life was sparse, given how cold it was, and people life was mostly absent. I enjoyed the silence, my hearing all the more attuned for birdsong by the lack of background noise. This was tranquility at its best.

The patch is set low down, with high ground around it. The afternoon sun was already out of sight, and the light took on an even more sleepy quality. I knew to find a dipper downstream, I needed to look for movement, and unusual movement at that. The boulders in the water and the reasonably fast flow gave plenty of white horses- or ponies, as they were small, I suppose. Looking for a brown bird, with a white streak, in twilight, was a worthy challenge. Hard work pays off, and I quickly got a dipper splashing about in the water. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere, I was able to just stand and watch it feeding. Dashing about everywhere, hopping onto boulders then just as quickly jumping back into the water. I started to become quite adept at predicting where he would come back up. EVentually he flew out of sight, too far downstream to see. I made my way home a very happy birder.

After a busy week birdwatching, there was definitely something satisfying about just watching a bird.

Stay healthy, stay safe.


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