Posted by: atowhee | April 10, 2016


Not only did I get to see my first Yamhill County Dipper today.  It was an adult feeding  carrying food to a nest.  Not sure if it was feeding young or a brooding mate.

It all began with ace birder Floyd Shrock’s simple email yesterday to the Yamhill birding email list: “There was also a Dipper near the bridge in Metsker Park. This is the closest to McMinnville I have ever seen a Dipper.”

That sent me and the dogs out Baker Creek Road west of McMinnville.  After dogs got me out of the car for a run at Ed Grenfell County Park (rarely any birds of note there, occasional Kingfisher), we continued outbound into the foothills.  3.2 miles from Grenfell there is a bridge across Baker Creek.  We stopped by the mailbox just beyond that bridge, for property at 20180 Baker Creek Road.  Watching for a few moments I saw a gray rock fly downstream from the upstream side and go under the bridge.  Turning quickly I noticed it HAD NOT continued  downstream of the bridge.  So I went down the embankment  past a small culvert and got down onto the stream bed with a clear view of the underside of the small bridge.  There on the side opposite the uphill direction of the road was the Dipper nest on a ledge supporting the bridge.  Then I got photos of the Dipper itself on a log about 12 yards downstream from the Dipper Bridge.  The elevation here must be below 1000 feet, but the stream is fast and clear.  There are sufficient emergent rocks and downed tree trunks.   Hopefully the logging operations upstream don’t use a lot of herbicides.DIP-NEST BCR DIP-ON-LOG2 DIP-ON-LOG3 DIP-ON-LOGG1

From the Dipper Bridge at 10280 it is another 1.1 miles to the entrance to the Weyerhauser forest parcel (.2 mile before you come to end of public road at Metsker Park) and a bridge there that might host a Dipper nest…I had the wrong footwear to check it out, would require wading.  Upstream I found a rock signed with Dipperwash for sure.DIPPWASH ROKThis rock is a few inches above the current water level and about 30 inches long, mid-stream, Dipper approved location.

Downstream from the Dipper Bridge I had found three signs of Dipperwash but that could be from a single foraging bird, not thick enough to indicate frequent presence or nesting.

If you go to photograph please do not go under the bridge.  Dippers nest in a busy Lithia Partk in Ashland so they tolerate people as long as you stay clear of the nest and don’t go wading into the middle of the their fishing stream.  There is a small convenient rock bar on the corner of the bridge which gives you visual access to nest.DIPP NEST MAPP is best place to park, N shows nest site on downhill side of bridge, line across the creek shows the log where I photographed the Dipper.

GREAT GRAY OWLS–Tuesday night this week I will be talking about Gret Gray Owls and birding hotspots along I-5 in southern Oregon.  That’s at 7pm at Audubon Center in Portland’s Forest Park.ggo cover FBCov1+inWEB

Mother Nature and Julia Roberts has a message for you, click here to hear.


  1. Great nesting! I’ve spent a lot of time looking for dippers’ nests myself. The European Dipper that is!

    • saw the Euro-dippers in Scotland and Baden Baden city park, lovely as are all dippers, have seen the common one in the Ecuadoran Andes as well

      • You are well travelled then! I’ve recently started a blog about my nesting adventures here in the UK. Check it out if you’re interest

  2. Thank you for the Dipper nest presentation along with the cautionary warning about disturbing the birds. Thnak you for the link to MOTHER NATURE video that I will pass along. And I hope your Tuesday presentation in Forest Park is well received. Wish I were there!
    Peter B.
    Walnut Creek CA

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