July 29, 2009

Return to Ouzel Falls

At the first river crossing, we saw an adult American Dipper fly under the bridge, and we did not see it fly out the other side.  We didn't investigate whether or not there was a nest under the bridge, because we were in a hurry to get to Ouzel Falls.  Another dipper was spotted flying downstream at Calypso Cascades.  I (Joel) also saw a Black Swift high in the sky while we were walking through the old burn zone.  When we reached Ouzel Falls, there were no signs of dippers anywhere, but we did see adult and juvenile Golden-crowned Kinglets in the firs near the river. We spent some time observing them before heading back down the trail.

While we were showing another hiker some Red Crossbills and distant Band-tailed Pigeons, we noticed that there was a Black Bear feeding on the opposite hillside.  People started piling up around us, as we observed the bear.  Many of them had never seen a bear in the wild before.  At the old burn zone, we saw a couple Wilson's and Yellow-rumped Warblers along with singing Hermit Thrushes.

Black Bear - by Joel Such

Wilson's Warbler with Fly in Bill- by Joel Such

Back at the first bridge, we peeked to see if there might be a dipper nest.  Sure enough, there was a nest on a boulder just under the bridge with two chicks.  We spent a lot of time observing the adult coming and going, as it fed the chicks.

American Dipper Flying in to Feed Chicks - by Joel Such

American Dipper Chicks in Nest - by Joel Such

Marcel Photographing American Dipper Nest - by Renee Haip

Just before reaching the parking lot, we found other hikers puzzling over a chicken-like bird with its two chicks grazing on Kinnikinnick berries along the side of the trail.  The birds were Dusky Grouse!  When we told the ranger about the grouse, he said that this local grouse had started out with 8 or so chicks, but now is down to two chicks with foxes likely having devoured the others.

Dusky Grouse - by Marcel Such

Dusky Grouse - by Marcel Such

Dusky Grouse Chick - by Marcel Such

Below are a couple photos of butterflies we saw that day.

Weidemeyer's Admiral - by Joel Such

Hoary Comma with Opened Wings - by Marcel Such

Hoary Comma with Closed Wings - by Marcel Such


Ali Iyoob said...

Great shots, especially the Grouse. I had my first crossbill this weekend as well.

- Clark said...

Cool pictures. What a great place to hike, with such unique encounters.

Jeff said...

Great blog. And brilliant photos.
Which one of you takes the photos?

Andy Johnson said...

Awesome! Makes me want to start a blog as well. Good meeing you at the MBS... You're next Marcel :)