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Today I'm with a class of children from the local junior school. While being with a group of 33 livley children isn't the best way to bird watch or see shier animals, all those keen eyes are a help when it comes to finding smaller creatures. As you'd expect, they enjoy pond-dipping the stream . . . and most of them get their feet wet. Very wet.
Pond-dipping Fast side-swimming Freshwater Shrimps vastly outnumber everything else at the first two sites we sample. But we also catch Blackfly larvae, which attach themselves to a rock with a sucker and a Caddisfly larva, in a case that it has constructed from plant fragments.
There's a Green Shield Bug at the water's edge. It has lost its bright green summer colour and turned a shade of bronze as it prepares for hibernation. This species doesn't have an underwater stage, the streamside is probably just a suitable place to spend the winter.
There's also a small reddish moth and a slug-like larva amongst the leaf litter.
We went downstream for a third pond-dipping session . . .