9th January 2012

Shipley Glen
Another very mild day and there was lots of activity. Two pairs of Nuthatch, at times in the same tree, were disputing territory, Great Tits were paired up and the males were uttering a weak song.  A Kingfisher was fishing on the lodge until it was disturbed and ten Grey Herons were huddled at the bottom of the Glen whilst three more were in the ditch below Milnerfields.  Four Jays flew up from a patch of leaves, and a Dipper was seen flying away from under the bridge on the Higher Coach Road.  I caught sight of another Dipper in the middle of the beck on the other side of the bridge, but it was an alarm call that alerted me.  No sooner had I located the bird than a Sparrowhawk flew from the surrounding trees and bushes and scooped the Dipper away from its stone.  At least that's what I think I saw, as there was no sign of the Dipper, unless it had escaped the clutches of the predator.  Those of you who attended the meeting last Tuesday will recognise this scenario when our excellent speaker, Peter Mawby, drew attention to this behaviour.
Paul King