Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Good Day for Dippers

Any day I see an American Dipper is a good day. Today we saw nine Dippers plus a Bald Eagle, making this a very good day indeed.

The first pair on our Agency Creek Dipper survey was at Waterhole 11, but they saw me first and refused to pose for photos. This was the best I could do. The bird is on the end of a stick that looks like a snake.

And here it is zoomed up and blurry.

Closer and even blurrier...

Asinine Bridge is one of the most reliable places to find a pair, but they eluded us today. I suspect they were foraging upstream, where the water was not quite so wild and deep.

Johnny thought they might be hiding under the bridge, so he hung over to look.

We saw another pair near the next nest site, but they were behind too much shrubbery for photos. However, a Bald Eagle flew upstream as we were watching the Dippers and landed in a distant tree. I got another blurry photo.

The Yoncalla pair was upstream from their nest site, but again I could not get photos. I had better luck at the Two Bridges nest area where one was hopping on and off a rock in the middle of the rapids, feeding under the water. Of course, it was a long way away and behind a midstream bush.

Here it is zoomed up and, of course, blurry.

We saw two more Dippers, one each at two downstream territories but they were in flight, trying to find water shallow enough to feed in, most likely. Agency Creek is high from the recent rains, especially downstream where these last territories are.

Out of the seven Dipper territories that we have located on this stretch of Agency Creek, we found Dippers in five of them today. It feels wonderful to be surveying Dippers again.

Soon after arriving home, we were treated to a beautiful sunset that only got better as it went along.

While to the east, an almost full moon was rising.

Zoomed up, the moon was a golden globe: a beautiful end to a beautiful, Dipper-full day.

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