Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • March 6

It was a cloudy and 27F afternoon hike in Oatka today. Once the trailing edge of the snow storm moved past us, I went down to Oatka after having missed two days due to the weather. The dirt road from the parking lot to the woods was very productive with crows, a nuthatch, jays, a titmouse, Canada Geese, cardinals, a Downy Woodpecker, and a Carolina Wren. Thing quieted down along Black Billed Cuckoo Trail with only a few chickadees in the fields beyond the woods and along Warbler Loop. A loose flock of gulls flew overhead. Moving onto Gypsum Hollow and Sapsucker Trail, I noticed that the creek was, once again, flooding sections of Trout Run Trail and seemed, in general, too high and fast for stillwater birds. Birdlife remained largely nonexistent as I visited the bridge over the creek, and then continued along Woodland Trail so I could map an alternate branch of that trail. I eventually reached Bluebird and then White Tail Trail before finally finding a few robins and a Red-bellied Woodpecker on White Tail just past Maple Hill Trail. (The base of Maple Hill Trail is also currently flooded.) Finally reaching Old Burrell Road Trail and the way back to the parking lot, the silence was shattered by the onset of  loud and persistent calls from a Pileated Woodpecker. I was able to track the woodpecker down and get a few pictures. The funny thing was that it called the whole time, though none of my pictures or looks through my binoculars showed the bill being open. I thought perhaps a second Pileated was calling nearby, but when the one I was observing finally flew off, the calls stopped.

Tufted Titmouse

Oatka Creek looking downstream from the bridge

Oatka Creek looking upstream from the bridge

Red-bellied Woodpecker

American Robin

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     3/6/11
Number of species:     14

Canada Goose     60
Ring-billed Gull     6
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Downy Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     2
American Crow     10
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Tufted Titmouse     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Carolina Wren     1
American Robin     4
Northern Cardinal     2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(