Dipping Out

I’m back – did you miss me?

Too many events going on at the moment, but it’s good to be busy. Today I was recording a piece for the Radio Gloucestershire Country Matters programme – though I understand it now goes out to Radios Somerset and Devon too. As part of our series on rivers, this morning we went down to the river Frome to look for dippers.

The day didn’t start well as my best site is presently surrounded by roadworks, and any self-respecting dipper had fled the area. Fortunately Brian Bailey (the presenter) knew of another site… which turned out to be closed for bridge work. Site Three was open and suitable, but there were no dippers to be seen.

We’d just started recording at Site Four when we were drenched by a sudden downpour. Intrepid naturalists that we are, we carried on recording… only to be drowned out by the shrieks of small children who were also sheltering from the rain.

Site Five was perfect dipper habitat as they’d nested there earlier in the year, but now the water level has dropped considerably and again there were no dippers.

So after an entire morning of what felt like a tour of the county we were still dipper-less and had to do the broadcast without a single sighting. Never mind, we were fortunate to have had five possible sites to explore, and there are more in the area had I had more time available.

I still hope to have a dipper painting at my WWT exhibition in November. Anyone know of any more sites?

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About Jackie Garner

Wildlife artist.
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