Monday, October 18, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • October 18

It was a cool and mostly sunny, late afternoon birding hike in Oatka today. It was an extremely quiet night for birds, though not without its delights. My first surprise was shortly upon entering the wooded portion of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail and seeing a somewhat leucistic (partial albino) squirrel. It was an off-white, not a pure one, with a darker tail than body. It refused my offer for a photo-op! :-) As I emerged from the woods onto Warbler Loop, a red-tailed hawk took to flight from its perch over the Loop. The Loop was a relatively busy place tonight. In addition to the usual white-throated and white-crowned sparrows, a song sparrow popped up for a peek-a-boo, and a lone catbird called out briefly. More interesting was a fox sparrow that responded to my spishing and found itself right next to some tasty tidbits, so rather than diving right back into cover, it hung around for several long moments gleaning goodies so that I could absorb its chestnut and gray coloring. Continuing on to the creek, it was quiet there, too. At the end of Trout Run Trail I was greeted with the rattle of a kingfisher. After turning around, I was enjoying a small pocket of goldfinches at one point when it sounded like the kingfisher call went off like a bomb, right next to my ear! I quickly snapped my head around, but it was gone, probably laughing itself sick! :-) Returning to the bridge and continuing on to the fields of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I picked up a golden-crowned kinglet and a yellow-rumped warbler. As I eventually made it White Tail Trail, the sunset was just about complete and I had to abort that portion of the hike after spotting a small flock of red-winged blackbirds flying overhead and a larger flock of Canada geese in the distance. Traveling back down the dirt road to the parking lot, I could hear the "conkeree!"s of a few more red-wings in the marshy area. A slow night, but the fox sparrow was worth the price of admission!

White-throated sparrow. Subtitled, "Aw, nuts!" :-)

Yellow-rumped warbler. A post-sunset capture, i.e., almost no light.

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     10/18/10
Number of species:     21

Canada Goose     50
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     4
Northern Flicker     1
Blue Jay     5
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Tufted Titmouse     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     10
Gray Catbird     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     2
Fox Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     1
White-throated Sparrow     10
White-crowned Sparrow     3
Northern Cardinal     2
Red-winged Blackbird     10
American Goldfinch     5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(