Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • October 23

It was a cold and cloudy morning birding hike in Oatka today. However, it was also a very birdy morning! As I walked up the dirt road, I heard a red-winged blackbird call from the marshy area and, then, I heard the song of a carolina wren from the same location. That latter bird would still be there three hours later when I returned, and I'll have more to say about it below. A yellow-rumped warbler popped up in response to my spishing, as did white-throated sparrows. As I following the white-throats for a picture, a hairy woodpecker started calling out back in the direction of the parking lot. I eventually backpedaled and caught up with the hairy. With a number of other regulars, I was already at 11 species before entering the woods. Entering the woods and Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I noticed a large group of chickadees in what would be Black-Capped Chickadee Day 2 in Oatka. In Warbler Loop, spishing popped up a number of cardinals, white-throated sparrows, a white-crowned sparrow, and a fox sparrow. A golden-crowned kinglet joined the party, as well. With the continuing dropping of leaves, the bare limbs are revealing a multitude of bird nests! Some are accessible for close photographic work, and some are not. Pretty soon I hope to be able to check on some suspected cuckoo nesting sites. Reaching the creek, everything was quiet from the bridge, so I crossed on over to Trout Run Trail. Things picked up immediately with a winter wren "kit-kit"ing away. As I worked my way down the trail I came upon white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, kinglets, and goldfinches. Out on the creek I heard a belted kingfisher and saw a few mallards. At the end of the trail just after turning around, I heard another winter wren. Since it was very close, I whispered a spish and the bird immediately popped up from behind a stump and was willing to stay as long as I wanted, photographing it from the chest up as long as I kept spishing! When I would stop, it would disappear, only to re-appear when I started my whisper spishing again. :-) A pileated called a number of times as I retraced my path along the creek. The rest of the hike out to and including White Tail Trail was uneventful with only more individuals of already identified species. Walking down the dirt road back to the parking lot, I heard the carolina wren from the marshy area, and decided to see if I could find the bird. I bushwhacked my way in via a deer trail until the ground became too soupy. The wren was *LOUD* and singing at least three distinct variations of its song. Try as I may, I was unable to make a sighting, though not from a lack of help with all the singing. Incidentally, the whole area I was in was a bit of a bird party with lots of cardinals, jays, sparrows, chickadees, and woodpeckers all about. It was a nice, birdy way to end the outing!

White-throated sparrow

White-throated sparrow

Red-bellied woodpecker

Hairy woodpecker

White-throated sparrow

Northern flicker

Winter wren

Winter wren

Winter wren

Downy woodpecker

Hairy woodpecker

American goldfinch

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     10/23/10
Number of species:     27

Canada Goose     150
Mallard     2
Ring-billed Gull     12
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     6
Downy Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     7
Pileated Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     6
American Crow     12
Black-capped Chickadee     25
Tufted Titmouse     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Carolina Wren     1
Winter Wren     2
Golden-crowned Kinglet     6
American Robin     10
European Starling     3
Yellow-rumped Warbler     2
Fox Sparrow     1
White-throated Sparrow     25
White-crowned Sparrow     1
Northern Cardinal     5
Red-winged Blackbird     2
Common Grackle     2
American Goldfinch     5

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)