Early morning on the river Usk

08th April 2011
At the moment the river is quite low so I decided to try to photograph some Dippers I had seen the previous week at a traditional nesting site that I have watched for a number of years. So I was up again at 4.00 a.m. scrambling down the river bank by torchlight and was undercover by day break. The Dippers were active almost immediately, but unfortunately, there was a heavy mist which did not clear until about 8.30 a.m. You have to be concealed early so that you don't disturb them at their nest site. Once the light improved they were moving around my hide with confidence, sometimes sitting right outside, which allowed me to witness their courtship display. The male postured and posed in front of the female bird but she was unimpressed and turned away every time, obviously the time is not right yet! However, it was a privilege to witness their courtship.
Two Grey Wagtails were also active in the same area and I am confident they will be breeding there also.
On a sadder note, there was no evidence of Kingfishers, who, I fear, perished in last year's harsh winter weather; they were always active along this stretch of the river in the past.
The Dippers flew out of sight, right down the river, on a number of occasions. I waited for such an opportunity to pack up quickly and leave with no disturbance to the birds.
Please see photos in Gallery.