Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Dipper

Back when we were camping in our truck camper with the kids above Silverton, Colorado, we saw our first dipper.

We saw this cute bird that kept submerging himself in the icy cold, rushing waters of South Mineral Creek, jumping from rock to rock inbetween. He was easy to identify as a "dipper."

I've been trying to find good photographic spots around Breckenridge. (Yes, I know all of Breckenridge is scenic, but I've been trying to find magic, undiscovered places.)

I went up a road called Tiger Run and had found a creek that has areas with running, unfrozen water.

I'd been intrigued by the areas with running water surrounding rocks with caps of snow.

We've startled a beaver and watched him quickly dive out of site. One morning there was a mallard couple swimming and foraging. And we've consistently seen a dipper in this area.

I've had opportunites on three different days to photograph the dipper that frequents this area. None of the photos are competition quality. But I've had more fun watching. The first day he spent a lot of time running along the ice along the edge of the creek.

I had a lot of fun watching him fish one day. At the base of a beaver dam, I watched him catch a small fingerling trout. He bounced it on the ice until it quit wriggling and then swallowed it whole.

It is fun to watch him hop out of the water after he has been foraging on the bottom. Sure looks cold to me!

Today I watched him flip rocks searching for food underneath them. The fun ended when another dipper flew in. My dipper chirped and began to chase the intruder away. I saw him land some distance upstream. The visibility for viewing is not as good there. So I gave up for the day.

Because we know this dipper feeds here regularly, I will come by regularly in hopes that one day I'll get the right lighting, a good photogenic position, and perhaps even the catching of a fish! Whether I ever get an award winning photo of this cute creature, I get a lot of enjoyment spotting him and observing him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary Ann,

Beautiful photos! I had an opportunity to visit Romania this December...traveling to the wonderful Carpathian Mountains. I too enjoy finding "hidden treasures" while hiking. However, I am far from being the photographer that you are. I am now inspired! (I found your blog through some of your other family/friends blogs...but I can say that I will come back a ton I love the pictures that you take).


Mary Stevens
life after bankruptcy