It's Wednesday 29th Feb, an unusual day, but glorious. Clear air, clear skies and a nice feel about spring with the sun shining and the dampness of early morning. I could go chasing around Devon looking for rare birds to photograph but I prefer to concentrate on a good opportunity and get the best photos possible and learn as much as I can. If this means sitting all day long watching and waiting, then I am prepared to do that and whats more I really enjoy it. Light-wise this was a perfect day and the sun illuminated the scene in front of me beautifully.The Dippers are really foxing me though, early on there were no signs whatsoever and even on a walk down stream I couldn't find them…. a total mystery and I am beginning to doubt that they are going to use this nest. I have't seen them going in for two days now and then just the male who was, as you may remember surprised to find the male Grey Wagtail there. Dipper territories can be large, I was hopeful that they would suddenly "fly in" which is often the case.
The Grey Wagtails are very interesting though. I saw them up in the nest several times today and the way it happened needs some mention. The male was calling loudly and displaying up and down the river doing a little parachute flutter as he landed on various prominent boulders until after a few minutes the female showed up. That was his cue and he immediately flew to the "Dipper"nest and started to call to her. She didn't respond however and they both then moved out of the territory. Then a few minutes later he returned and perched on to roots that are growing around the nest (see photo) and continued to call to her.
The Dippers put in an appearance at midday, one flying up river strongly and then the other, probably the female, was feeding not too far down stream but she eventually flew in the direction of the male. They both avoided the nest!