Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • December 28

It was a partially sunny, windy, and *cold* 26F sunrise birding hike today at Oatka. The wind chill made the conditions rather raw and most of the birds were in hiding as a result. Fortunately, Oatka has lots of accessible sheltering locations! On the walk down the dirt road from the parking lot, crows, goldfinches, robins, and bluebirds flew overhead with their respective calls. A brave red-bellied woodpecker and equally brave junco were out to complete the role call. Once in the woods of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I found a lot of birds huddled together in the trees and understory brush: a cardinal, chickadees, a carolina wren, a brown creeper, a kinglet, a nuthatch, titmice, and downy woodpeckers. A red-tailed hawk did a low and slow flyby at treetop level nearby. I didn't have to take more than a few steps to find all these birds once I encountered this mixed flock. Moving out into Warbler Loop, the wind was pretty unpleasant, so all that I found (heard, actually) were chipping cardinals and calling blue jays, expect for one dense area of brambles. There I watched as several white-throated sparrows fed from the fruit-laden grape vines. As I was watching these sparrows, a red squirrel ran right through the center of the pack, giving the brief appearance through the binoculars of a running red fox. :-) Down by the creek there were several mallards as I crossed the bridge. At the end of Trout Run Trail, I began hearing the winter wren. It sounded close, but I scanned the entire area without finding it. Then, of course, I look down near my feet and there it is, "kit-kit"ing away. It gave me a nice photo-op and then took off. Things quieted down for the rest of the hike, with the last addition to the list being a group of American tree sparrows on the dirt road going back to the parking lot. I was alerted to their presence by their jingling call notes, as they foraged deep within the hedgerow along the road. Cold, but fun day!

Brown creeper

Brown creeper

White tail deer

White tail deer

White-throated sparrow

White-throated sparrow

Mallards

Winter wren

White-throated sparrow

White-throated sparrow

White-throated sparrow

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     12/28/10
Number of species:     20

Mallard     18
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     4
Downy Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     15
Black-capped Chickadee     9
Tufted Titmouse     5
White-breasted Nuthatch     4
Brown Creeper     2
Carolina Wren     1
Winter Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
Eastern Bluebird     3
American Robin     11
American Tree Sparrow     5
White-throated Sparrow     11
Dark-eyed Junco     2
Northern Cardinal     6
American Goldfinch     5

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