Monday, 16 May 2022

Nature fights back?

When it comes to nature, Wales is still pretty fortunate. It is getting more difficult for wildlife to flourish especially with our planning departments not taking into consideration nature in any way. All that matters seemingly is council tax income. Whatever, I am fortunate to live next to a small river. In past years this river was extremely polluted by coal dust and other pollutants, probably best not to name them. But I have seen as I am able to get to the river bank, a most rare bird, the dipper! It has come back to the river it once frequented but was poisoned to death. Now it is nesting, I know where and bringing up chicks. At this very moment I have seen the parent birds feeding the chick. Literally dipping into the fast flowing river and flying to and fro’ to the chick sitting ‘dipping’ on a rock. It surely is a heartwarming story because to say it frankly, dippers are pretty rare and very shy of humans. 

They seem to have become a bit used to me as I sit on the bank flying by whilst whistling a warning as they do so. A number of other birds have come back as well, the wagtails, I have seen two pairs of the grey and one only of the pied wagtail. The grey wagtails, although they are pretty with lots of yellow feathers, have become used to me and literally feed right at my feet. As long as I don’t move they hop around. It is great to see them flying sharply upward to catch a fly which I didn’t even see! Fortunately this river next to my property is full of invertebrates. I have seen creeping things that ‘hide’ by building a shield of very small stones, literally minuscule and creep about on the bottom. The dippers love those! 

Presently the water level is pretty low because it has been very dry and I had to rescue a young brown trout. I saw it lying gasping for some oxygen in a shallow pool. Managing to pick it up as I was wearing rubber wellingtons. I put it in a much deeper pool and under a stone overhang. It is still there, probably until the next rain storm will it allow to move down or up river. It did not like being picked up but needs must, eh? At least it is a bit safer from the heron that frequents this part every morning! I see it standing on the bank or sitting still on a branch of the trees growing next to the main road. I am hoping to hear ducklings as a pair of mallards have been seen a few times. I am not sure if they nest close by but all will become clear if ducklings are around. Hopefully the neighbourhood cats will leave them be. Cats hunt anything around here, but as I am a cat person, I let nature sort its own rules out. But I stop at the neighbours' cats sh*tting in my greenhouse, that should be a death sentence or at least life internment in a bare cell with one feed a day. Dry!

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