Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • May 21

It was a sunny and 59F sunrise birding hike at Oatka today. This was the first 50 species day I can recall having in Oatka ever, which is interesting since there seems to be a minimum of spring migrants in the park right now and none of the waterfowl are present due to the unusually high, strong, and turbid creek waters. Today I had a first-of-the-year Eastern Wood Pewee for the park. Hooded Warblers were very vocal today, though extremely well hidden. I bushwhacked after one for a potential photo-op and came up empty. Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and, new today, House Sparrows were very active around the nesting boxes along Bluebird Trail. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo called at one point and I had my first American Restart of the year. On the way down the dirt road back to the parking lot, I saw the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in and around their nest. At the parking lot I solved a three-hour-old mystery. When I had arrived at the park, I heard the persistent song of a Red-breasted Nuthatch, which made little sense to me based on the local environment and so I disregarded it. Three hours later when I returned to my car, it was still there. I walked down towards the road entrance of the park and found the Red-breasted Nuthatch perching on a power line out in the open and not really near any of the sparsely distributed evergreen trees. I got great pictures and videos and discovered something when I reviewed one of the videos: the nuthatch opens its bill to inflate its lungs and then closes its bill to make its nasal call literally nasally. (I always thought the call was "nasal-like" rather than literally nasal. I checked Birds of North America and they didn't seem to discuss this topic.) After this investigation I started to pack up when Jay Greenberg pulled into the park to make his scouting run for Tuesday's field trip. We went down and inspected the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest and Jay picked up a Tennessee Warbler I had missed in the area. On the way back to my car, an Eastern Kingbird flew overhead to give me my fifty. (I saw a second kingbird at the top of Maple Hill as I drove by on my way out.)


Gray Catbird


Red-eyed Vireo


Eastern Towhee


Eastern Towhee


Northern Cardinal


Northern Cardinal


Female Yellow Warbler with nesting material


American Goldfinch


Red-eyed Vireo


Eastern Phoebe


Female Eastern Towhee


Female Eastern Towhee


Indigo Bunting


Field Sparrow


Tree Swallow


Tree Swallow


Red-breasted Nuthatch


Red-breasted Nuthatch


Red-breasted Nuthatch


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     5/21/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     50


Canada Goose     4
Turkey Vulture     1
Mourning Dove     1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Eastern Wood-Pewee     1
Alder Flycatcher     2
Eastern Phoebe     2
Great Crested Flycatcher     1
Eastern Kingbird     2
Warbling Vireo     1
Red-eyed Vireo     10
Blue Jay     6
American Crow     7
Tree Swallow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     3
Tufted Titmouse     3
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
House Wren     2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     2
Eastern Bluebird     2
Wood Thrush     5
American Robin     10
Gray Catbird     11
Brown Thrasher     2
Blue-winged Warbler     7
Tennessee Warbler     1
Yellow Warbler     12
Magnolia Warbler     3
Black-throated Blue Warbler     4
American Redstart     1
Ovenbird     2
Common Yellowthroat     9
Hooded Warbler     2
Eastern Towhee     8
Chipping Sparrow     1
Field Sparrow     7
Song Sparrow     2
Scarlet Tanager     3
Northern Cardinal     7
Rose-breasted Grosbeak     3
Indigo Bunting     5
Red-winged Blackbird     2
Brown-headed Cowbird     4
Baltimore Oriole     5
American Goldfinch     11
House Sparrow     4


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