Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • February 3

It was sunny, clear blue sky and 28F sunset birding hike today in Oatka. It was refreshing to actually see the sun set after all the recent snow and cloudiness. :-) As I've come to suspect, the nice weather seemed to reduce the bird activity in the park. The crows were flying eastward overhead as I walked down the dirt road to the woods. Along Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I picked up hairy, red-bellied, and pileated woodpeckers. As I entered the extension of Gypsum Hollow Trail, I hear a woodpecker squeal that was not familiar to me. Its cadence was the same as a yellow-bellied sapsucker's mew, but it was a squeal, not a mew. It sounded more like a flicker, though it called far more frequently than a flicker would. It could have been the sapsucker as it was in the right area, though it was coming from an inaccessible location, so I couldn't really track it down. (Coincidentally, while leaving the park I met with a dog walker who has been reading my blog and looking for the sapsucker as a result. She said she heard the mewing along the southern bank of the creek Tuesday evening and may have seen it, though she didn't get a good look.) Leaving that mystery, I completed my survey of that area and then headed back towards the bridge, encountering chickadees and a nuthatch along the way. At the bridge, there was a good-sized raft of mallards and Canada geese just upstream. I didn't see any black ducks mixed in with the mallards, but one or two of the geese seemed to have significantly shorter necks, though their bills were not stubby like cackling geese. Reversing my direction, I returned to Warbler Loop and headed back towards Gypsum Hollow, but not before running into a pocket of birds that included a kinglet, a downy woodpecker, a titmouse, chickadees, and robins. With all this activity, I was alert for brown creepers, though none were seen tonight. That would be it for the species list tonight. I picked up a few more woodpeckers on my way out and got some nice pictures of the setting sun before leaving the parking lot.

Mallards

Canada goose

Canada geese

Canada geese

Red-bellied woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

Sunset

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/3/11
Number of species:     12

Canada Goose     17
Mallard     17
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     2
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     1
American Crow     20
Black-capped Chickadee     6
Tufted Titmouse     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     2

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