Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • October 31

It was a partially cloudy and cool morning birding hike in Oatka today. Today was a *very* birdy day! What's even more interesting is that as of a couple of days ago, someone must have flipped the "sparrow" switch to "off" in Oatka, as sparrows are now abruptly hard to find. A large group of juncos greeted me as I left the parking lot. There were a lot of very vocal chickadees and titmice, as well. A lone red-winged blackbird was singing in the marshy area. A fox sparrow popped up with the juncos at one point. I heard a white-throated sparrow, but it refused to come out of hiding. Moving into the woods, things quieted down until I reached Warbler Loop. Things picked up there with chickadees, jays, titmice, cardinals, woodpeckers, nuthatches, robins, and a couple more white-throats. Today's birding hotspot was Trout Run Trail down by the creek. As I reached the bridge and crossed over, I was struck with a strange sense of there being lots of interesting birds being around. (No, not in the roseate spoonbill sense.) :-) I quickly found a golden-crowned kinglet near eye level and engaged in another of my ongoing attempts to photograph this hyperactive bird. Then I found a brown creeper. I've been recently looking intently for brown creepers, as they are one of the birds I haven't been able to get a great picture of. As a result, of course, I haven't found any in a while. Well, today was Brown Creeper Day along Oatka Creek! I found four creepers along Trout Run Trail, and there may have been more. I didn't get my great picture, but I got one or two good pictures. Goldfinches and mallards brought me back to earth after a creeper photo frenzy or two. :-) I then found a winter wren and through the binoculars got the ideal perfect view. No obstructions, close, perfect pose. Of course, I couldn't switch to my camera fast enough before it was gone. It called for quite some time from cover, but never came back out into the open. On the way back from the end of the trail, I found many birds from species already mentioned. As I approached the bridge, a pair of purple finches landed in the large tree that overhangs the northern end of the bridge. The male was stunning in its full-body raspberry plumage. I presume the brown bird with it was a female, as they traveled as a pair. Shortly after that, it started to drizzle, so I cut the hike short and returned to the parking lot. Fun day!

Tufted titmouse

Fox sparrow

Tufted titmouse amidst poison ivy berries. Yum! :-D

Golden-crowned kinglet

Brown creeper

Brown creeper

Downy woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

Black-capped chickadee

Brown creeper

Brown creeper

Northern cardinal


American goldfinch

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     10/31/10
Number of species:     23

Canada Goose     50
Mallard     10
Ring-billed Gull     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     8
Downy Woodpecker     5
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     4
Blue Jay     7
American Crow     9
Black-capped Chickadee     17
Tufted Titmouse     9
White-breasted Nuthatch     6
Brown Creeper     4
Winter Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     15
Fox Sparrow     1
White-throated Sparrow     7
Dark-eyed Junco     7
Northern Cardinal     3
Red-winged Blackbird     1
Purple Finch     2
American Goldfinch     9

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