The active role of vorticity in the collision of a Lamb-like dipole with a no-slip wall is studied for Re values ranging between 625 and 20000. The initial approach of the dipole does not differ from the stress-free case or from a point-vortex model that incorporates the diffusive growth of the dipole core. When closer to the wall, the detachment and subsequent roll-up of the boundary layer leads to a viscous rebound, as was observed by
Orlandi [Phys. Fluids A 2, 1429 (1990)]
in numerical simulations with Re up to 3200. The net translation of the vortex core along the wall is strongly reduced due to the cycloid-like trajectory. For Re ⩽ 2500 wall-generated vorticity is wrapped around the separate dipole halves, which hence become (partially) shielded monopoles. For Re≳O(104), however, a shear instability causes the roll-up of the boundary layer before it is detached from the wall. This leads to the formation of a number of small-scale vortices, between which intensive, narrow eruptions of boundary-generated vorticity occur. Quantitative measures are given for the influx of vorticity at the wall and the consequent increase of boundary layer vorticity and enstrophy.