Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • October 16

It was a windy, sunny, and clear early afternoon birding hike in Oatka today. I spent the morning on a wonderful field trip with the Rochester Birding Association to several points near Lake Ontario and was able to put some of my new birding acumen to good use right away. As I left the parking lot and made it just a few steps down the dirt road leading to woods, I came upon a pocket of birds in the roadside hedges. A dark-eyed junco was eating some kind of white berries up in a large tree. They must have been real tasty, as a white-throated sparrow suddenly popped up and shoved the junco out of the way and started eating the berries. The junco stood to the side waiting for its turn to resume eating. Interestingly enough, there were several clusters of these berries all around the tree, but these two birds had to have the same one! :-) Goldfinches and a yellow-rumped joined the party in the hedges, as did a blue jay that gracefully glided into the heart of the hedge and disappeared without the least ruffling of leaves. Entering the woods and Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, things were a bit more active than usual. A pileated woodpecker called out, followed by a flicker. Chickadees and titmice turned out to check up on me. A downy woodpecker and robin added to the mix. As I entered Warbler Loop, things quieted down with the occasional jay and white-throat calling out. A trio of ring-billed gulls flew overhead, as did a red-tailed hawk. Reaching the creek, my RBA trip training paid off, as I recognized the call of a golden-crowned kinglet and found the songster moments later. (I have only been able to identify this bird by sight before.) Crossing the bridge over the creek, red-bellied woodpeckers and nuthatches called out. As I walked Trout Run Trail, a great blue heron took to flight and a hairy woodpecker called out. At the end of the trail I was rewarded with the rattle of a kingfisher. Retracing my tracks, I eventually made it to White Tail Trail. As I walked through the fields at the beginning of the trail, seeds and fluff from black swallowwort, goldenrod, white snake root, and milkweed blew across the trail as some kind of horizontal rain. The trail was birdy, though no new species presented themselves. Finally returning to the dirt road, I took a deer trail back into the marshy area and found a chipping cardinal, but nothing else. All-in-all, a pretty good run for an early afternoon!

 Dark-eyed junco. I now think these are poison ivy berries.

Dark-eyed junco

Dark-eyed junco

Dark-eyed junco and white-throated sparrow. I think of the junco as a big bird, but the sparrow is noticeably bigger.

Dark-eyed junco and white-throated sparrow. I guess the junco did satisfy itself with a separate bunch of berries, after all!

Dark-eyed junco and white-throated sparrow

White-throated sparrow

Maple Hill. Pretty close to peak color!

Maple Hill

Maple Hill

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     10/16/10
Number of species:     21

Great Blue Heron     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     3
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     3
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     7
American Crow     3
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Tufted Titmouse     3
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     3
Yellow-rumped Warbler     1
White-throated Sparrow     7
Dark-eyed Junco     1
Northern Cardinal     1
American Goldfinch     2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(