Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • October 27

It was very windy, clear blue sky and sunny late afternoon hike in Oatka today. The wind seemed to be discouraging any birds from revealing themselves today, making the entire birding run rather quiet until the very end. As I got out of the car I was struck by a foul odor. I looked over at the horse trailers in the parking lot, but there was much more aroma than two or three horses could produce! Apparently, they fertilized the soccer fields today. So, while they didn't end up using them this year, they are going ahead with plans to use them next year. Walking down the dirt road towards the woods, there was nary a bird in what are usually bird-laden shrubs. I did manage to spish up a single white-throated sparrow. Entering the woods, I heard, then saw a hairy woodpecker, but that would be it until I reached Warbler Loop. The Loop was relatively quiet with only the occasional chickadee and white-throat. Reaching the bridge over the creek, all was silent there, too. Return to the far side of the Loop, things got a tad more interesting with a titmouse or two and a nice look at a golden-crowned kinglet. I also found a male-female pair of cardinals snuggled deeply in the shrubbery. Moving on, things quieted down again until I reached White Tail Trail. At this point it was an hour from sunset and the wind had nearly died down completely. This allowed the birds to pop up, which they did! I spished up a yellow-rumped in the usual place near the start of the trail. The robins were starting to mass in the trees. As I continued along the trail, I suddenly ran into a small flock of, at least, half a dozen yellow-rumps. Downies and flickers also reported in, as did tons of white-throats. At one point as I was scanning all the robins in the hopes of a rusty blackbird (no joy tonight), I found three starlings that were strangely quiet, seemingly content to absorb the last rays of sunlight. Eventually making it back to the dirt road heading towards the parking lot, I took the deer path back to the marshy area to listen to the red-wings for a bit. Returning to the dirt road and finishing up the hike (There's that smell again! :-p ), I spied a white-crowned sparrow and a pair of juncos just outside the parking lot. From there it was time to go home, and have dinner while a screech owl serenaded us from the woods behind the house. :-)

Warbler Loop

White Tail Trail

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler. You can clearly see the yellow upper rump which give this bird its name.

Yellow-rumped warbler

European starlings

European starlings

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     10/27/10
Number of species:     19

Canada Goose     50
Red-bellied Woodpecker     5
Downy Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Blue Jay     4
American Crow     7
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Tufted Titmouse     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     35
European Starling     3
Yellow-rumped Warbler     8
White-throated Sparrow     20
White-crowned Sparrow     1
Dark-eyed Junco     2
Northern Cardinal     4
Red-winged Blackbird     2

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