If you want to add a Dipper to your bird list head for Cwmbran; I notice that it wasn't on the Coastal Path list, probably because they like a fast-flowing stream. The Afon Llwyd (Grey River) is fast and runs by the boating lake (first turning on the left off the Newport-Abergavenny Road- Llanyravon Way)
A pair are nesting in the vicinity of the bridge, so lots of photo opportunities. They don't seem to be disturbed when push chairs, trikes and scooters cross the bridge either, all of which make a hell of a noise and vibration to anyone standing on the bridge but thankfully the birds seem unperturbed. I have looked for signs of life (Fish, plants, etc) in the 'Avvy" before and came to the conclusion that it was more or less sterile but just look what the dipper found in there. Really interesting behaviour as they seem to be able to stack a bunch of insects in their beak and then go back for another. I was told (but haven't seen for myself) that there are Kingfishers down there as well - will keep my eyes peeled for that and let you know.
Hi - lovely set of pictures. Your post brought back so many happy memories for me- used to live in Sebastopol, (relocated to Cornwall 5 yrs ago) - but miss home every day. I spent many an hour at that boating lake when my son was small.I know that bridge so well!! Must head up there when I'm next back.
Thanks for posting- Jayne
Thanks Jayne, so glad to have brought back happy memories - the park is still great for families but they've also really tried to encourage wildlife, with new 'nesting islands' and a raised shoreline planted with various native plants - although only Canada Geese, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot and Gulls are regulars.
Dipper still on my list of birds I want to get a photograph of ... cracking shots!
On this advice i went for a visit around 8am this morning, spot on, right by the bridge. Didn't have my camera with me unfortunately so no pictures. Will pop back tomorrow hopefully and get some shots. I lived in Llanyrafon up until last year so spent a lot of time down the boating lake, I probably haven't been since in about 8 months and was pleasantly surprised to see the growth of plant life and woodland since they updated everything. Well worth a visit.
First Class Pics John
Thanks all. It's great to be able to share this with you and hopefully you'll all get good photos as you know where to look, they take no notice of people on the bridge and they seem to follow a set routine, so you can more or less predict where they will go next on the circuit - if only the Cetti's were so obliging down in the Wetlands!
All true, I stood on the bridge for a good 5 minutes whilst people walked past with their dogs and the little guy just hopped from rock to rock not really minding what was going on. I find the behavior very amusing the way that they bob up and down. Also the flight is strange. Looks like a whole load of effort, almost hummingbird speed wing flapping action but very slow moving in the air, haha. They look like they are attached to wires skimming over the surface of the river.