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A new era dawns

A new era dawns. Today marked my first visit to Goldcliff Lagoons since the sad death of  Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. She was a great and very respected monarch throughout the world.  Her passing marked the end of the modern Elizabethan era and the dawn of a new one. King Charles III has now ascended to the throne - "God save the King". The new era will be called the Carolean age under King Charles III. I thought his first speech was very touching and I believe he will be a great King like his mother. We also now have a new Prince of Wales with Prince William taking on his father's previous titles.  Every time I now take picture of the second Severn crossing - namely the Prince of Wales bridge there will be a different face that now pops up in my head. The Prince of Wales Bridge I've had a very stressful and busy week myself and I was in real need of some bird therapy today for a few hours to take my mind off things. A visit to Goldcliff Lagoons alway

Dippers on the Afon Llwyd

I recently returned to one of my favourite locations along the Afon Llywd River to watch Dippers.

Dippers are fascinating birds to watch. They are the only aquatic song birds in the UK. Its outside breeding season now so I can try and get a closer look at them without causing any disturbance. One of the birds was quite confiding and I spent quite a bit of time making a video of it feeding.

You can see it diving into the water and popping back up with a caddis fly larvae.

It then shakes the larvae to get its gravelly shell off it and then eat it.

I find Dippers easy to find but hard to get a good sharp picture of them. The light is often poor along the river and not ideal. The video footage actually came out quite well. I recently went to a Gwent Ornithological Meeting and listened  to a great presentation about Dippers. When I watch this Dipper I noticed that it seemed to wash its beak every time before diving back into the water to hunt for more larvae.

Dippers are a key indicator species for water quality. This bodes well for the Afon Llwyd which in the past was one of the most polluted rivers in Wales.

Dipper , Afon Llwyd

Dipper, Afon Llwyd

Dipper , Afon Llwyd

Dipper, Afon Llwyd

Video of Dipper Feeding

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