Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • February 17

It was a cloudy and 56F sunset hike in Oatka today. It was an extremely quiet night, bird-wise. Walking in from the parking lot produced a pair of titmice, a nuthatch, a few crows, and a cardinal. Along Black Billed Cuckoo Trail I could hear the drumming of a Pileated Woodpecker. I also found some recent (within the past 24 hours) Pileated Woodpecker chisel work that was slightly out of the ordinary on a tree right on the trail. Entering the fields and getting ready to enter Warbler Loop, I was flabbergasted when a Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) lazily flew by me, maybe 5 feet away. I watched it in my binoculars for several moments and it was only after it was out of view that I remembered I had my camera with me. :-) (On a somewhat related note, I counted four mosquitos or mosquisto-like insects flying about today, too.) During the bat flyby, I also noted the calls of a Pileated in the background. The Loop only produced a single robin and the creek was empty except for a lone fisherman. Turning around and heading into Gypsum Hollow Trail, things picked up with a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a pair of kinglets, and a pair of *very* agitated Hairy Woodpeckers. They were carrying on so much and chattering so rapidly, I first thought they were more Red-bellieds until I caught up with them visually. Sapsucker Trail was quiet. Returning down Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I found a Downy Woodpecker and a pair of chickadees. Moving out onto White Tail Trail, the quiet remained until I found a trio of chickadees and then an American Tree Sparrow that was perching in the open of the warm evening. Returning to the dirt road leading back to the parking lot, I thought the birding was over until a Carolina Wren called out just before I reached my car.

Cooper's Hawk. This wasn't at the park, but behind our house as I was getting into my car to go to the park. I didn't get any pictures at the park worth keeping today, so I'll take this as a consolation prize! :-)

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/17/11
Number of species:     13

Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     1
American Crow     5
Black-capped Chickadee     5
Tufted Titmouse     3
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     2
American Robin     1
American Tree Sparrow     1
Northern Cardinal     3

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(