Monday, December 20, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • December 20

It was a mostly cloudy and 26F sunrise birding hike today in Oatka. The walk in from the parking lot netted only a few regulars (crows, jays, etc.) as it seemed the birds were not quite up and about just yet. Moving into the woods and Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, a pileated woodpecker called out, as did red-bellied and hairy woodpeckers. Robins started to call and would continue to do so for the rest of the hike. Things got a bit more interesting as I entered Warbler Loop as a downy and several titmice greeted me at the edge of the shrubbery. A Cooper's hawk launched from the nearby trees and flap-flap-glided its way to a new perch. A flicker called out and then a flock of seven bluebird went flying by, calling with their "turalee" calls. Moving into the heart of the Loop, a few cardinals popped up and then disappeared. Then I got my first surprise of the day when a Hermit thrush popped up from the center of the Loop and stayed in a relatively exposed position and watched me for a minute or two. Moving on down to the creek and Trout Run Trail, near the end of the trail I heard then saw a red-tailed hawk perched over the creek. It kept calling which puzzled me until a second red-tail soared over the first hawk. Eventually they both left the area, though not necessarily together. Turning around, I came upon a pocket of Carolina wrens that played hide-and-seek with me for several moments. They were mostly giving gentle interaction types of trills, though one surprised me with a loud song blast in my right ear! :-) (I'm convinced that birds do that on purpose as a type of prank.) Returning across the bridge, I headed towards Gypsum Hollow Trail to see if I could find kinglets and creepers, and was rewarded on both counts. It was a nice birding run for the day after the Christmas Bird Count!


Black-capped chickadee

Hermit thrush

Hermit thrush

Hermit thrush

Hermit thrush

Hermit thrush

White-throated sparrow

White-throated sparrow

Mallards

Mallards

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk

Carolina wren

Carolina wren

Carolina wren

Golden-crowned kinglet

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     12/20/10
Number of species:     22

Mallard     13
Cooper's Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     2
Red-bellied Woodpecker     7
Downy Woodpecker     8
Hairy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     4
Pileated Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     4
American Crow     39
Black-capped Chickadee     22
Tufted Titmouse     9
White-breasted Nuthatch     7
Brown Creeper     1
Carolina Wren     4
Golden-crowned Kinglet     2
Eastern Bluebird     7
Hermit Thrush     1
American Robin     46
White-throated Sparrow     12
Northern Cardinal     6
American Goldfinch     1

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