Dippers at Elbow Falls


American dippers are year round residents below the Elbow Falls.  When I was there before sunrise, I could hear an occasional chitter from one pair as they flew up and downstream.  As the day brightened I saw them a couple of times while I was photographing the landscape around the waterfall.

I shifted my attention to them and had two lengthy sessions photographing them.  The first began when I was taking the last couple of shots above the falls and noticed one dipper fishing in the small rapids there.  The bird splashed here and there, submerged in the flowing water and managed to hunt down a good number of insects in there.  After several minutes, breakfast concluded and the bird flew down the river and quickly went out of sight.

An hour’s wait separated me form the second encounter.  Eventually one of the dippers flew by and landed at rapids upstream from the falls.  That was too far for any reasonably interesting photographs but a second dipper followed only a little while later.  This one returned to pools above the waterfall which I have enjoyed watching them at often.  When the bird alighted in the water this time, I laid down on the snow to get close to eye level with the little bird.  I was well rewarded as it soon chose to ignore me and walked close by.

7 responses

  1. Wow…I love the one with leaf and droplets of water spray as the dipper stands in water.

    November 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm

  2. I saw one once at , I think it was Johnson canyon, and I immediately knew what it was by it’s behaviour. these are great captures, especially the first!

    November 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm

  3. Pingback: Dippers and their questionable behavior | Christopher Martin Photography

  4. The last two photos are a good reminder of a saying I remember from my first months around a camera: don’t zoom the lens, zoom yourself. Getting closer certainly can provide some wonderful images, especially when you’re at eye level. To be honest, the thought of lying around in snow sounds a lot more appealing than battling through the unbelievable swarms of mosquitoes we have just now!

    November 26, 2018 at 5:06 am

  5. Lovely!

    November 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm

  6. I absolutely love your photography. Thank you for sharing.

    November 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm

  7. I love those photos and the birds! We had water ouzels in Oregon also! We got such a big kick out of watching them on the Umpqua River when my husband was fly-fishing!

    November 25, 2018 at 1:37 pm

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