Friday, December 31, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • December 31

It was a very warm 43F and partially cloudy sunrise birding hike in Oatka this morning. Photographer and birder Leo Nealon had arrived at the park about the same time for his own birding run, so we teamed up today. There was a great burst of bird activity at the very beginning of the hike, but that would be it for the most part. As I exited my car, a mourning dove, a pileated woodpecker, blue jays, and the ubiquitous crows checked in. The sound of starlings brought me to the end of the road at Union Street, where it was funny to hear a starling imitate the "queedle" of a jay. :-)  A flock of cedar waxwings flew overhead as I made my way down the dirt road to the woods. I found a tree sparrow as a goldfinch flew overhead. I then found a group of juncos and a couple were very brown for juncos. Sibley's Field Guide to Birds describes a variant (slate-colored) variety and a brown variety for slate-colored juncos and warns that brown slate-colors can be confused with Oregon juncos. So, perhaps these were brown slate-colors. (Seems like confusing terminology, but there you go.) About this time, a classic crow mobbing erupted with a red-tail hawk the unfortunate recipient. I found the perching hawk just as it had had enough and took to wing, screaming the whole way with its tormentors in pursuit. Flickers and red-bellied woodpeckers completed the list heading into the woods. Once on Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I met up with Leo. Things quieted down until we reached Warbler Loop, where the still subdued atmosphere yielded chickadees, a cardinal, and white-throated sparrows. The creek was silent, as was Trout Run Trail except for a good pocket of birds at the end of the trail that added titmice, nuthatches, and a downy woodpecker to the list. The woods being quiet, when we recrossed the bridge we headed out to the fields of Black Billed Cuckoo and Bluebird Trails. The eastern field of Bluebird and the woods approaching it perked up a bit in bird activity with a nice group of flickers supplementing the robins, chickadees, juncos, and titmice. At that point we headed back to the parking lot with only a couple more cardinals to be added to the list. Quiet morning, actually.


European starling

European starling

American red squirrel with walnut

American red squirrel

American robin

American robin

American robin

Tufted titmouse

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     12/31/10
Number of species:     20

Canada Goose     27
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Mourning Dove     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     6
Pileated Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     7
American Crow     18
Black-capped Chickadee     19
Tufted Titmouse     5
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
American Robin     19
European Starling     4
Cedar Waxwing     14
American Tree Sparrow     3
White-throated Sparrow     3
Dark-eyed Junco     10
Northern Cardinal     4
American Goldfinch     1

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