Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • October 26

It was a windy, cloudy, and gloomy late afternoon hike in Oatka today! :-) Actually, the sun came out briefly, but it was mostly windy enough that the birds did not want to perch out in the open and gloomy enough that by an hour before sunset the birds were already in full sunset roosting mode. However, there were still large numbers of birds evident! As I walked down the dirt road from the parking lot, several juncos and white-throated sparrows popped up briefly to check me out and then disappeared again. Red-bellied woodpeckers were vocal throughout the park, as were the flickers. Entering the woods, things quieted down until I reached Warbler Loop. More and more nests are being revealed, though the light for photography was so poor tonight, plus the wind, I left the nests for another day. A golden-crowned kinglet greeted me as I entered the center of the Loop and gave me an okay photo-op. A couple of cardinals popped up briefly, as did a couple of robins. Jays were very visible tonight, too, flying from tree to tree. However, by far the most spectacular view was from waves and waves of white-throats pouring out of cover to reach new cover as I walked down the trail. I've never seen so many sparrows in one place! I could have easily doubled my count for eBird. Leaves are falling in earnest, now. There is a thick layer on the trails, mostly oak, it seems. Down by the creek there was no activity tonight. Returning to the Loop and then out into the fields of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I noticed the beginning of a loose river of ring-bills floating across the sky. Eventually reaching White Tail Trail, I spished up a couple of yellow-rumped warblers in the shrubs by the beginning of the trail. Tonight, this trail was Robin Headquarters! Several robins seemed to adorn each treetop and waves would fly up as I would walk by. It made searching for rusty blackbirds almost impossible due to the gloom and all the activity. A red-tail hawk floated overhead seemingly with the gulls, but actually was quite lower in the sky. Walking back down the dirt road to the parking lot, I saw my only downy woodpecker for the night on one of the trees bordering the road. The rain front coming in (hence the gloom) would not arrive for another hour or so.

Dark-eyed junco

Golden-crowned kinglet

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Red-bellied woodpecker

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     10/26/10
Number of species:     17

Canada Goose     100
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     50
Red-bellied Woodpecker     5
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     7
Blue Jay     6
American Crow     8
Black-capped Chickadee     10
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     100
European Starling     30
Yellow-rumped Warbler     2
White-throated Sparrow     30
Dark-eyed Junco     5
Northern Cardinal     2
American Goldfinch     1

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