Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • February 6

It was a cloudy and windy, 28F sunrise birding hike in Oatka this morning. The wind was hard enough that the resulting cracks and squeals of the swaying trees rivaled (and vaguely imitated) many of the softer bird vocalizations and woodpecker tapping in the park. Speaking of mimicry, the Blue Jay near the parking lot was in rare form today with its wide range of bird sounds. Not only was it producing a number of Red-tailed Hawk calls, but it seemed to imitate a lot of other bird calls that put me on notice today to be extra discerning. Crows, robins, and a Carolina Wren completed the offerings along the dirt road to the woods. Once on Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, the titmice were in rare form, showing up in numbers and with a huge variety of songs to compliment their standard "cheeva-cheeva" song. While looking at a Downy Woodpecker, some motion caught the corner of my eye and as I looked down the trail, I saw two coyotes switch from walking to running and then diving back into the woods. Returning to the birds, a cardinal, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Pileated Woodpecker checked in along Black Billed. Warbler Loop was quiet except for a few chickadees. Gypsum Hollow Trail saw the start of White-breasted Nuthatch Day in Oatka, today. :-) At one point three of these birds were within a one-foot radius on a tree. A Red-bellied Woodpecker added to the woodpecker count and a Belted Kingfisher rattled for quite a long time along the creek below. Sapsucker Trail (I figure that's easier and more descriptive than Gypsum Hollow Trail Extension) was populated by a flicker and several more titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches. Reversing my direction, I headed for the bridge over the creek and spotted a number of Mallards along the way. Trout Run Trail was relatively quiet today, with more members of already mentioned species. Nearing the bridge on the return, I came upon a nice pocket of birds that included a kinglet and a Brown Creeper. Heading out along Woodland Trail, I picked up a White-throated Sparrow and near the end had a close encounter with a couple of kinglets. It was a male-female pair, and at one point the male came up to within three feet of me, about a foot below eye level. Its crown with bright orange in the middle with a broad, bold yellow border. Absolutely gorgeous! That would be it for the species list as I took Old Burrell Road Trail all the way back to my car.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Mallards

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/6/11
Number of species:     18

Mallard     28
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     4
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     2
American Crow     21
Black-capped Chickadee     14
Tufted Titmouse     10
White-breasted Nuthatch     6
Brown Creeper     1
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     3
American Robin     25
White-throated Sparrow     1
Northern Cardinal     1

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