Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • March 12

It was a partially cloudy and 35F sunrise birding hike in Oatka today. The morning chorus was just *filled* with birdsong and birdsong variety! As has been the case of late, one could bird from just beyond the parking lot and pick up a large number of species, especially standing on the dirt road right by the swampy area. On the walk to the swampy area I picked up Mourning Dove, Red-winged Blackbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Crow, Blue Jay, American Robin, and Tufted Titmouse. Then it got interesting with a burst of song from a Carolina Wren, followed by the honking of a White-breasted Nuthatch. As I was looking for the nuthatch, which ended up being in the tree right next to me, a flash of motion drew my attention to a Brown Creeper. Wanting a picture, I was ready to shoot when a second creeper showed up and a battle-royal began between the two creepers, resulting in the photo-op ending before beginning! :-) A Downy Woodpecker moved through the area, as did a Golden-crowned Kinglet. Tons of Canada Geese flew overhead to complete that birding stop. Deciding to walk my route essentially in reverse order, I headed directly to White Tail Trail and Maple Hill. I picked up a White-throated Sparrow along the way to the hill. Approaching the first footbridge at the base of the hill, I spied a Red-tailed Hawk that was soaring low over the hill near the bridge. I got a few pictures as it adjusted its flight path to work its way away from me. The hill was alive with the sound of 4 to 6 Red-winged Blackbirds defending their chosen territories on the hill. Over a hundred more Red-winged Blackbirds flew overhead in a flock. Several European Starlings and Blue Jays also filled the air with vocalizations. Then, an unusual (for Oatka, at least) flock of 10+ Blue Jays flew across the hill and southward out of the park. Migration group? After that, things calmed down for the rest of the hike with the most notable sighting being a flock of 200+ Common Grackles over the fields of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail. Excellent morning!

By the way, I've updated my map of Oatka Creek Park: 
http://tinyurl.com/6j4mlqa


Mourning Dove

White-breasted Nuthatch

Blue Jay

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Northern Cardinal

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     3/12/11
Number of species:     22

Canada Goose     190
Red-tailed Hawk     2
Mourning Dove     2
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     19
American Crow     11
Black-capped Chickadee     13
Tufted Titmouse     5
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Brown Creeper     2
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     14
European Starling     4
White-throated Sparrow     1
Dark-eyed Junco     2
Northern Cardinal     16
Red-winged Blackbird     100
Common Grackle     230

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