Watch Notes 02.01.13

2/1 Barbara, Eric and Jeff met at Bluebird Park at 9. Three dippers came flying upstream and thru the culvert, then back and downstream in a few minutes. Quite a chase which we assumed was territorial defense. There was no chance to see if they were banded. We walked downstream to Hershey but saw no dippers, but lots of whitewash.

Drove up to the res and walked down. On the top of the spillway there was a pair of unbanded dippers and one was singing. They flew down to the pool below and then one took off downstream; the other disappeared back up over the dam.

At 3rd bridge lots of whitewash but no birds. Saw one unbanded one downstream between bridges 5&6but not well, and when we got to where it was, it was gone. At the level of the tennis courts Jeff saw Mr. Green WSGG who was singing along with an unbanded companion. He flew upstream while she stayed and foraged. Eric and I were on the far side of the two channels of the creek and couldn’t see or hear them. No sign of a dipper from there down to Bluebird Park.

It is early in the season and we saw defence of territory, two singing males, and evidence of dipper presence around last year’s nest sites. Eric installed several more boxes under bridges yesterday and will report separately. Today’s total was 7-8 birds (we were not certain whether one of the unbanded birds was seen twice). Only one was banded. 

Just one minor correction:  those two dippers that I saw when I was by myself did not appear to be associating with each other.  They were in the same general area, but the unbanded bird was foraging about 100 yards downcreek from Mr. Green and did not seem in any way to be aware of his presence.  When Mr. Green flew, he went upcreek, opposite direction of where the unbanded bird was.
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