Monday, April 11, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 10

It was a partially sunny and 45F sunrise birding hike in Oatka today. This was one of the best days of the spring, yet! As I exited the car, I was hit with a profusion of bird songs from a large variety of species and several members of each species, to boot! It was a pleasant musical puzzle to pull all the instruments in the orchestra apart and identify them. A Song Sparrow popped up along the dirt road as I began my walk and gave me a nice photo-op in the deep golden light of the rising sun. While the songs of cardinals, titmice, and Red-winged Blackbirds filled the air nonstop, the sharp "FEE-BE!" of the phoebes cut through it all to be clearly heard. Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers also checked in in what would be a great day for woodpeckers. In fact, woodpecker drumming from probably multiple species could be heard throughout the environment just as intensely as any of the singing birds. After entering the woods, I approached the swamp from Brown Creeper Trail and was rewarded with the song of a Carolina Wren and a visit from a singing White-throated Sparrow. Returning to Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I spied goldfinches high in the trees, eating the tender young buds that are now appearing in profusion on the plant life. Then, remarkably to me at any rate, I saw my first Turkey Vulture of the day at 7:43 AM. The thermals couldn't have started forming already, could they? The creek was quiet at the bridge except for a phoebe vigorously trying to attract a mate with its song. I decided to take Woodland Trail upstream to look for signs of wildflowers in addition to birds. This route produced a Hairy Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, and a Belted Kingfisher, but no flowers. (The new shoots of flowering plants were clearly visible, however.) Eventually reaching Bluebird Trail, I heard a Field Sparrow, spied a bluebird standing atop a nesting box with a bill full of nesting material, and then my first pair of Tree Swallows of the season for the park. The gurgling-like call of the swallows were evident as they swooped over the area, back and forth. One did drop down and peer into the nesting box I've seen the bluebirds at for a number of weeks, now, but with curiosity satisfied it left again for the air. Finally, as I carefully left the cover of the woods at the base of Maple Hill for the open fields, I quickly glanced left and right for perching Red-tailed Hawks. There was one nearby today, but the moment I saw it, it took to the air. Oh, who am I kidding? Like you're going to win a stealthy observation contest with a Red-tail! :-)




Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow


American Robin


American Robin


Eastern Bluebird


Tree Swallow


Eastern Phoebe


Northern Cardinal


Northern Cardinal


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/10/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     29


Canada Goose     2
Turkey Vulture     2
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     1
Mourning Dove     3
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     6
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Eastern Phoebe     4
Blue Jay     9
American Crow     5
Tree Swallow     2
Black-capped Chickadee     9
Tufted Titmouse     6
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Carolina Wren     1
Eastern Bluebird     1
American Robin     15
Field Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     10
White-throated Sparrow     2
Dark-eyed Junco     1
Northern Cardinal     13
Red-winged Blackbird     13
Brown-headed Cowbird     9
American Goldfinch     3


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