Friday, December 3, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • December 3

It was a cold and mostly cloudy sunset hour hike in Oatka today. The sun did come out during the last ten to fifteen minutes of daylight, but most of the birds had already made their evening preparations by that point, it seemed. Leaving the parking lot and heading towards the woods, a pair of curious juncos popped up, but that would be it for sightings along the dirt road. Chickadees, crows, and a red-bellied woodpecker called, but kept hidden otherwise. Reaching White Tail Trail, I almost immediately heard the heavy pecking of a pileated woodpecker, and with a moment's of searching found it. I was carefully moving along the trail trying to get an unobscured picture when chaos erupted in the fields just down the trail a bit. That was enough to put the woodpecker in flight. (Someone had their dogs off leash and the dogs were chasing a large herd of deer with the owner bringing up the rear, yelling her head off at the dogs. Seems comical now that I reflect on it, but at the time I was disappointed at losing the pileated photo-op.) :-) On the plus side, all the activity stirred up the birds in the fields along White Tail, so more chickadees, titmice, flickers, white-throated sparrows, and jays were easy additions to my list. Things quieted down as I re-entered the woods. Making my way around to the eastern side of the trail, I started to hear a tattletale buzzy triplet and started looking for a kinglet. I soon found it and though I got great views in the binoculars, the bird defied every attempt I made for getting a picture! Too bad, as the bright yellow crown really stands out in bold contrast to all the drabness in the environment these days. The remainder of the walk was quiet as everyone settled down in the last minutes of sunlight.

Pileated woodpecker out of focus. Oh, well!

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     12/3/10
Number of species:     10

Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     2
American Crow     3
Black-capped Chickadee     8
Tufted Titmouse     2
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
White-throated Sparrow     2
Dark-eyed Junco     2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(