Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oatka Creek Park • December 8

It was a cold and partially sunny afternoon hike in Oatka today. It was also windy, though once amongst the trees, the wind was not an issue for bird or birder. The walk down the dirt road from the parking lot to the woods was interesting. Along the side of the road where the snow plow had dug into the ground and exposed leaves and earth provided a prime feeding spot for robins, cardinals, juncos, and white-throated sparrows. A downy woodpecker was also nearby. However, the surprise was hearing a Carolina wren from the swampy area just north of the dirt road. Entering the woods and moving onto Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, things quieted down, though at one point a trio of golden-crowned kinglets flew up to me, crossed over to the opposite side of the trail, and then flew off. Fortunately, they lingered long enough for a so-so picture or two. A pileated woodpecker called in the distance around this time as well. Moving into Warbler Loop, the bird activity picked up again. Lots of cardinals, chickadees, titmice, and a pair of flickers were about. Another downy showed up, too. Reaching the creek, the water level has started to recede from its high level of a few days ago, though it is still running very fast, so it will not be freezing anytime soon, if at all. Not seeing any birds from the bridge, I decided to cross over and walk Trout Run Trail anyway. My effort was eventually rewarded with a group of mallards on the water and the insistent "kit-kit"s of a winter wren in the woods along the creek. Returning to the bridge and the far side of Warbler Loop, the cardinals, and other birds I saw on the other side of the Loop showed up again. I did come across a small flock of cedar waxwings, but was only able to examine two or three to see if there were any Bohemians before the flock flew off. Reaching Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I headed out across the fields until I came to the intersection with Old Burrell Road. Being only about 20 minutes or so before sunset at this point, I opted to take Old Burrell back to the parking lot. Along way, I found a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers and a white-breasted nuthatch. The unsolved mystery for this hike: where were the blue jays?

White-throated sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, and a northern cardinal

Downy woodpecker

Golden-crowned kinglet

Golden-crowned kinglet

Mallards

Old Burrell Road

White-throated sparrow eating grapes

White-throated sparrow eating grapes

White-throated sparrow

Solar pillar (the short golden column above the setting sun)

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     12/8/10
Number of species:     18

Canada Goose     30
Mallard     10
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     3
Pileated Woodpecker     1
American Crow     3
Black-capped Chickadee     11
Tufted Titmouse     7
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Carolina Wren     1
Winter Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     3
American Robin     5
Cedar Waxwing     8
White-throated Sparrow     11
Dark-eyed Junco     4
Northern Cardinal     10

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