Monday, April 18, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 17

It was a mostly cloudy and windy, 40F sunrise birding hike in Oatka today. The wind speeds were nowhere near the apocalyptic proportions predicted by the weather agencies, and there were long stretches of no noticeable wind at all. (The topology of the park also provides a good measure of shelter from the elements.) The walk from the parking lot to the woods netted 14 species, so it was a good start. The main fun today came on Warbler Loop, where a loudly singing Brown Thrasher permitted a close photo-op. (It seemed to be too occupied with finding a mate to care about me as long as I wasn't standing in its shadow, as it were.) As one point one of the many singing cardinals was perfectly echoed by the thrasher. :-) None of this escaped the notice of the towhees in the Loop. One popped up (no spishing needed today!) and began its rising slur "zweeEET!" calls. As I took pictures, it hopped into better and better view, almost as if it were accommodating me! So, I got my first good pictures of a towhee for the year. Finally, at the end of the hike as I was crossing the field in front of the lodge, I heard a Red-tailed Hawk cry out. Then I saw at treetop level at the edge of the field a crow absolutely opening a can of kick-butt on the hapless hawk. It must have been defending a nest from the ferociousness of the assault. (Crows nested in that precise location last year.) I felt sorry for the hawk, though, of course, it had come to the area in the first place with unfriendly intentions. :-) Great morning for birding!


Northern White Violet. First wildflowers in the park, after the skunk cabbage.


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Eastern Towhee


Eastern Towhee


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/17/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     27


Mallard     4
Turkey Vulture     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     5
Eastern Phoebe     1
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     5
Tree Swallow     2
Black-capped Chickadee     11
Tufted Titmouse     5
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     2
American Robin     15
Brown Thrasher     1
Eastern Towhee     3
Field Sparrow     4
Song Sparrow     11
White-throated Sparrow     5
Dark-eyed Junco     3
Northern Cardinal     12
Red-winged Blackbird     7
Common Grackle     1
Brown-headed Cowbird     6
American Goldfinch     6


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