Walking the Churnet Valley

Had a couple of hours spare today so I decided to take a small walk along part of the Churnet Valley. I had no idea if I would get any decent Wildlife Photography shots but was delighted when I got a new lifer.

The source of the river is located over 1,000 feet  above sea level in the Staffordshire moorlands, near to the Gritstone escarpment of the Roaches, it flows into the River Dane a mile south of Rocester which further down stream joins the River Trent which ultimately flows into the North sea.

Today was the first time I have ever seen a Pied Flycatcher. It is a summer visitor and spends the winter in Africa. This male has got a Yellow May Dun  in its mouth to present to its young.

Wildlife Photography
Wildlife Photography

The Yellow May Dun is an aquatic insect. It is an up winged fly of the family Heptagenia and is widespread on rough rocky rivers which is typical of the River Churnet in places. There was an abundance of these flies today.

Wildlife Photography

These birds were very secretive and difficult to spot. I found standing quietly they would eventually come to you.

Wildlife Photography

I like this picture of this male peeking from behind a tree.

Wildlife Photography

In the river was this juvenile Dipper. There was no sign of the parents or siblings.

Wildlife Photography

I suspect this juvenile was independent. I watched  from behind a tree as he foraged amongst the stones and pebbles of the river bed for aquatic invertebrate.

Wildlife Photography

The juveniles are a dull grey colour. The feathers on the chest have pale wavy bars above and darker bars below.

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