Friday, December 24, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • December 24

It was a bright, sunny, clear blue sky, and 23F sunrise birding hike today at Oatka. Unfortunately, it turned into an episode of "But, where are the birds?" It felt colder than 23F, through there was no appreciable wind. For whatever reason, the park was largely devoid of birds except for an occasional individual here and there. Things started off promisingly as I exited the parking lot and heard loud "cheer cheer" calls from a Carolina wren. Things went to near zero from there with a few crows flying overhead, and one or two each of titmice, nuthatches, red-bellied woodpeckers, and chickadees. Entering the woods, a lone robin and downy woodpecker reported in along Black Billed Cuckoo Trail until I reached an equally quiet Warbler Loop. A small group of cardinals popped up there and then returned to concealment, chipping away. By the creek were the usual mallards. Trout Run Trail had a couple bright spots with an extended flyby of a rattling kingfisher, mere inches above the creek surface as it flew upstream. I suspect the fisherman downstream was altering its normal flight route in that direction. Shortly afterwards, the silence was broken by the calls and nearby landing of a pair of brown creepers. Eventually recrossing the bridge, I took Gypsum Hollow trail and with some effort picked up a couple of kinglets. When I finally exited the woods behind the lodge, I noticed that now, two plus hours later, the woods behind the lodge held a fair amount bird activity, highlighted by a trio of bluebirds. Perhaps the birds slept in a bit this morning? :-)

Tufted titmouse

Eastern bluebird

Eastern bluebird

Eastern bluebirds

Eastern bluebirds

Eastern bluebird

Eastern bluebirds

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     12/24/10
Number of species:     18

Mallard     13
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     6
Downy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     2
American Crow     8
Black-capped Chickadee     6
Tufted Titmouse     7
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Brown Creeper     4
Carolina Wren     4
Golden-crowned Kinglet     2
Eastern Bluebird     2
American Robin     1
Northern Cardinal     7
American Goldfinch     2

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