Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 3

It was a partially cloudy and 51F midday birding hike in Oatka today. After spending the morning on another successful RBA field trip, I headed out to Oatka to see which birds were still awake during one of our first warmish, drowsy middays of the spring. Cardinals and Song Sparrows seemed largely undeterred by the weather and time of day as they sang long, loud, and persistently. A majority of the other birds were largely voiceless, leaving visual sightings the only birding tool as they darted from cover to cover. Walking past the swampy area by the dirt road from the parking lot to the woods, my ears were overwhelmed by the sound of Spring Peepers! I walked to the edge of the swamp in order to listen for birds, but gave up as I simply couldn't hear anything over the peepers. Entering the woods, I heard a Eastern Phoebe near the restrooms. It seems every crevice and ledge of the lodge and adjacent restrooms are stuffed with phoebe nests from many years past. :-) (Underneath the bridge over Oatka Creek is another favorite phoebe nesting location.) I continued to slowly pick up one bird after another as I walked my normal route through the park. Finally on Bluebird Trail I found a pair of bluebirds atop a different pair of nesting boxes usually used by Tree Swallows in years past. The male was on one and the female on another. They would occasionally dive to the ground to snag one of the insects that are now starting to appear in much greater quantities and varieties in the park. (I had my first Mourning Cloak butterflies of the season today!) I picked up a few more species on the remainder of the hike. It's always interesting to try birding under different conditions!

Common Grackle

Eastern Bluebird

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/3/11
Number of species:     20

Turkey Vulture     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Downy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Eastern Phoebe     1
Blue Jay     5
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     8
Tufted Titmouse     3
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Eastern Bluebird     2
American Robin     6
Song Sparrow     5
Northern Cardinal     8
Red-winged Blackbird     3
Common Grackle     1
American Goldfinch     2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(