My nephew Chris and I drove out to Butte Falls and wandered the woods in search of Blue Grouse yesterday. We came up short for birds but the country and the company was first rate. Chris was quite surprised that we saw no grouse. In past years on his hunting and camping excursions he found them in great numbers. My theory is that the birds are present, but sitting on eggs. Again, I’m too early. I’ll just have to work in another trip later on.
Today I launched my return leg to home. I’m thinking about back-tracking my way home rather than doing the coast again. I don’t care to drive the I-5. If it were winter the Central Valley could be good with all the wildfowl in the reserves along the way (mostly between Redding and Modesto), but this time of year the population in those areas won’t include any geese, and much fewer ducks. I felt I was early for many of the birds while I was driving north. Perhaps on the back-track there will be different, or even more, birds.
The trip home began with a bang. I stopped to see my friend Bob in Ashland on my way out. While taking a short walk and visiting with my friend Bob in Lithia Park (Ashland), I found a pair of American Dippers engaged in courting activities. I decided it was worth walking back to the van and getting my camera gear. I managed some decent shots of each bird, though the light was poor, and the images suffered somewhat. My camera flash function delivered underexposed shots, and those without the flash were grainy due to high ISO. Still, these were dippers! I rarely get to see these birds.
Images can be seen below: