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Tag Archives: American Dipper

What do you do when you go camping? Sometimes I get asked that. On this last trip, there was a lot of sitting and watching the world go by. I saw a beaver and an otter, a couple marmots, lots of birds and turtles too and a few fish. The fish were trying to climb a long steep spillway into one of the lakes, just as if they were salmon returning from the sea, conquering waterfalls to return to the place of their birth. This little fish had no chance of conquering the spillway.

Dippers had a nest under a bridge. They went to and fro with nesting material and dipped for bugs.

And turtles. So many turtles. What do turtles do besides lay on logs in the afternoon sun?

Winter is not a great time for bird diversity in Yellowstone. We probably saw less than a dozen species of birds. Bald and Golden Eagles, American Robin, Barrow’s and Common Goldeneyes, Mallards, American Dipper, Clark’s Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, Common Raven, Black-billed Magpie. I think that’s all.

The goldeneyes were in small mixed groups, diving and feeding most of the time and easily seen from the road. The dippers were busy too, flying up and down the stream, calling to each other. Only once did I get a chance to make photos of them.

It’s been pretty busy around here lately and once again I find myself behind on all of my computer work, including photo processing. Here are a few highlights from Saturday when the dogs and I had a nice drive stopping to watch birds and other animals in the Okanogan Forest.

One day, earlier this month, we had a short walk in Big Valley. Normally Luna and I would be skiing out there every week. MVSTA grooms a ski trail and dogs are allowed. But with so little snow, there is no grooming at Big Valley this year. Insert big sad face here.

It’s always fun to get to the river in the winter and watch for American Dippers (formerly referred to as Water Ouzels). These amazing birds with short tails ‘swim’ underwater finding insects anytime of the year. In the winter they are on the main river. During high water and breeding season they go to the smaller tributaries to make their nests and raise their young.

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