Posted by: atowhee | January 29, 2017

A DIPPERLY DAY

The local creeks are flowing calmly downstream these days.  The flood-induced roiling and muddy coloring have subsided.  There’s been no rain for a few days.  And that’s good news for us Dipperologists.  Today I got my first 2o17 Dipper sighting on Baker Creek Road [BCR], just west of the mailbox for 19850 BCR.  That’s precisely 5.3 miles west of where BCR meets Hill Road southbound in McMinnville.

The bird was headed rapidly downstream.  I’ve never managed to see one in the small parks along Baker Creek further downstream: Rotary Park, Ed Grenfell and Huber.  Outside of those parks there are only about a half dozen bridges where you can survey the stream.  Fairly subdued flow is needed because you won’t find the Dipper diving into eight feet of muddy water or using the stream when all the rocks and tree-trunks are below the surface.  When the water gets high, the Dipper gets higher…heading up into the mountains where the smaller streams are so fast and steep they don’t freeze but they still provide emergent rocks and trailing limbs along the stream edge for proper Dipper-perching.  The elevation of this particular Dipper sighting was well below 1000′.  Last spring a pair nested in the next bridge upstream from today’s sighting.

Baker Creek Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 29, 2017.  Comments:     dense ground fog, nobody in the air for long
10 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  3
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  5
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  7
American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus)  1    
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

For info on my spring bird class here in McMinnville, click on this link…four talks,nd four weekend field trips including one to the coast.

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