Posted by: atowhee | April 28, 2019


A stop at the Dipper bridge on Baker Creek Road found both parents at home, fishing in the creek near the bridge.  Meanwhile, two bright yellow gapes were at the entrance to the nest.  Those yellow “lips” are good for parents trying to locate an open mouth in that dark nest under a bridge which allows no direct light.  First I noticed that the dippers’ sentinel rock is now surrounded by lesser monadnocks, the stream level is dropping.DPR ROKLooking at the nest with the sun trying to get straight into the camera lens, a tough shot.  But I managed to get images of one of the two gapes I saw with my own eyes:

Then one of the adults came up with an aquatic larva destined for one of the nestling gapes…that’s when I realized it was time to withdraw:

At least one of the adults gave out with song while I was there.  I stayed only a few minutes, not wanting to interfere with their routine or the dippers’ judgement about approaching the nest.  Near the nest bridge was a busy Red-breasted Sapsucker, checking out tree cavities.  Four robins fed along the edge of the highway. An Orange-crowned Warbler was singing.  Two Pacific Wrens flew over the road at ankle height and vanished into the sword ferns, or course.  Up the steep slope a Pileated Woodpecker called, once.
Back at Ed Grenfell Park I saw one orange-crown carrying nesting material. “Quick as a bunny” is a venerable cliche.  It ought to be updated to “quick as a warbler.”  The O-Cs have only been a couple weeks and nesting already?  Gotta breed, gotta breed…sung to the tune of “Gotta Dance.”

An old tree trunk nest to the stream was being looked over by the sapsucker.  In the final image you see at least six freshly drilled cavities, none very deep…yet:

Other critters along Baker Creek Road:

I hope the coyote’s pasture has not been sprayed with poisons.

Baker Creek Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 28, 2019. 12 species

Turkey Vulture  2
Red-breasted Sapsucker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  1
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Dipper  4
American Robin  12
European Starling  X
Dark-eyed Junco  4
Song Sparrow  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  2     one carrying nesting material

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