A message that a Dipper had been seen last weekend at Kearnsey Abbey had me change my plans this morning. It's an interesting area and just in case the report was correct and it had stayed around for a week I decided to go and take a stroll along the river there.
As I walked past the lake I took a few photos. I quite liked the one of this foot. Another mystery photo, with the owner at the end of this post.
I had a good look round, but no Dipper (other than me!). I wasn't surprised, any Dipper in Kent in March is probably a continental bird that has wandered a bit farther than usual. If that was the case by the first week in April it really should be getting back to its breeding area. For a compensation I watched this Grey Wagtail taking nesting material to its chosen site.
The male was around as well. The light was poor today and it was impossible to use a fast enough speed to stop the movement of the ever wagging tail.
On the way back through River I stopped at the Railway Bell to watch a group of Morris dancers, who were touring the area.
I was told by a knowledgeable watcher that one of the Dances should really be performed on April 1st. I must admit that although I don't think you'd get me in those costumes, they did seem to be having a good time. Since it normally involves performing at a pub I guess there good reasons to enjoy yourself.
Again, I don't know enough about this, but I thought that this chaps costume and make-up was rather striking.
At the end the ladies performed a stick banging dance of some sort, before the whole team moved off to give a repeat show at the plough at Ripple.