Blue skies and bright sunshine tempted me out on a day trip to Bolton Abbey. Parking at the Barden Tower end we made our way as far as the Cavendish Pavilion then back down the other side of the Strid. A shelter on the woodland path was a great spot to see a variety of the smaller birds as they came in for a feed. The Nuhatches showed particularly well on such a bright day.
After a refuelling stop at the cafe I then spotted some ripples in the water far below - a quick look through the binoculars confirmed that it was a Dipper, the first I have ever seen. The light at that precise point was awful and I struggled to get any decent shots, though we watched it swim underwater and catch small fish which it then ate on the rocks. Walking slightly further we found ourselves back on the bank of the main river where the current was running very fast. To my surprise we saw a second Dipper fishing here and I did manage to get some pics. It was hard to believe that it was able to fish here as the water was really racing along.
As we walked back under Barden Bridge we saw a Grey Heron in the shallows. It took exception to being photographed and flapped off upstream, landing in a tree further down. An Oystercatcher and a male Goosander were the other notable sightings of the day, but nothing could top my first Dippers!