6 hours ago
Friday, 1 October 2010
Dipper ....Cinclus cinclus
An unexpected chain of events yesterday left me with a window of free time.
I decided to have another go at locating the Dipper at Manoa Valley before proceeding on to Par to round off the day.
Very little was seen as I made my way towards the River. Weather wise it was quite pleasant, a far cry from Davidstow I visited on Tuesday.
As I approached the railing I cautiously crept the last few yards to see if the Dipper was around the extended pipe which is a place I have seen it before. O!! I must have flushed it because it shot of low downstream.
While pondering my next course of action I noticed a dog walker going downstream on the opposite bank. The dog was waggling along 50 yards behind the man who repeatedly stopped to let the dog gain ground. Right I thought…maybe he will flush it again …and … ideally it will head upstream towards where I had remained.
Lo and behold this was exactly what happened . The Dipper landed on a half submerged rock 50 yards downstream of me. Quickly I rested the camera on the railing and fired off a few record shots.
Now I had to get closer.
Well I have read a few S.A.S books and watched Ray Mears so as I recall it called for a little Bushcraft. The only problem was ..there was no where to go. The river was on my right and a fenced field on my left and the slight wind was blowing my Gucci downstream right towards him. My crawling days ended many years ago….so it was hope for the best. While the Dipper looked downstream I moved a few yards and rattled off some shots and much to my surprise I was gaining ground.. I got to within ten yards of it and then it was off like an Olympic Sprinter sucking a Fisherman’s Friend…and like the sprinter it did not go far and I saw it land about 50-60 yards further downstream. This went on for about one hour….back and forth. On one occasion a dozen or more middle aged mountain bikers flushed it back into view . I ended up photographing it in five different locations. Most of them are just average record shots but a few will pass muster for the blog although not up to Charlie Flemings standard.
As I was leaving a Grey Wagtail was spotted briefly close to the river bank and completed what was an enjoyable morning.
Also repeated on St Austellbaywatch Blog.