Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • February 27

It was a partially sunny and 28F sunrise birding hike in Oatka today. The sounds of spring continue to crescendo significantly with cardinals and bluebirds singing persistently and loudly throughout the park this morning. I spent the first twenty minutes of my hike basically a few steps from the parking lot as a ton of birds were using the trees and shrubs on either side of the trail as a feeding station, feasting on staghorn sumac berries and whatever they could find in or under the barks of the trees. A nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, titmice, a jay, crows, cardinals, bluebirds, an American Tree Sparrow, a Carolina Wren, chickadees, and a Downy Woodpecker all put in an appearance. Once in the woods of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, the call of a Canada Goose that did not clear the tree line left me wondering how many other geese might have been in tow. A flicker called out, as did a Hairy Woodpecker. Warbler Loop was filled with singing and chipping cardinals while several calling bluebirds flew overhead. Moving downstream along Gypsum Hollow Trail I came upon a kinglet and a Brown Creeper while examining more nuthatches and woodpeckers. Walking along Sapsucker Trail alerted the resident kingfisher and its rattle accompanied me as I reversed my direction and made it eventually to the bridge over the creek. The creek was empty of birds, as the kingfisher had disappeared. I decided to explore the creek upstream via Woodland Trail. I only found species already mentioned. Reaching Bluebird Trail, I had a wonderful encounter with the singing bluebirds which perched by the trail and let me get fairly close as they were more interesting in singing and all things associated. At one point one flew to a snow-covered nesting box, appearing quite ready to start that first brood of the season. Eventually reaching White Tail Trail, I found a large flock of robins arrayed along the southern portion of the trail (and nowhere else in the park). Finally, at the intersection with Maple Hill Trail, I found a pair of White-throate Sparrows feeding on the staghorn sumac berries at that location. A very birdy day!

Click on the pictures for larger versions!

Northern Cardinal

American Tree Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Northern Cardinal feeding on Staghorn Sumac

Northern Cardinal

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird. This female was singing along with the male.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

American Robin

White-throated Sparrow. It has Staghorn Sumac berry residue in its bill. The berries are just out of shot to the left.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/27/11
Number of species:     19

Canada Goose     1
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     6
Downy Woodpecker     7
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     1
Blue Jay     5
American Crow     13
Black-capped Chickadee     18
Tufted Titmouse     11
White-breasted Nuthatch     4
Brown Creeper     1
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     3
Eastern Bluebird     8
American Robin     14
American Tree Sparrow     1
White-throated Sparrow     2
Northern Cardinal     12

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