Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • February 27

It was a partially sunny and 28F sunrise birding hike in Oatka today. The sounds of spring continue to crescendo significantly with cardinals and bluebirds singing persistently and loudly throughout the park this morning. I spent the first twenty minutes of my hike basically a few steps from the parking lot as a ton of birds were using the trees and shrubs on either side of the trail as a feeding station, feasting on staghorn sumac berries and whatever they could find in or under the barks of the trees. A nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, titmice, a jay, crows, cardinals, bluebirds, an American Tree Sparrow, a Carolina Wren, chickadees, and a Downy Woodpecker all put in an appearance. Once in the woods of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, the call of a Canada Goose that did not clear the tree line left me wondering how many other geese might have been in tow. A flicker called out, as did a Hairy Woodpecker. Warbler Loop was filled with singing and chipping cardinals while several calling bluebirds flew overhead. Moving downstream along Gypsum Hollow Trail I came upon a kinglet and a Brown Creeper while examining more nuthatches and woodpeckers. Walking along Sapsucker Trail alerted the resident kingfisher and its rattle accompanied me as I reversed my direction and made it eventually to the bridge over the creek. The creek was empty of birds, as the kingfisher had disappeared. I decided to explore the creek upstream via Woodland Trail. I only found species already mentioned. Reaching Bluebird Trail, I had a wonderful encounter with the singing bluebirds which perched by the trail and let me get fairly close as they were more interesting in singing and all things associated. At one point one flew to a snow-covered nesting box, appearing quite ready to start that first brood of the season. Eventually reaching White Tail Trail, I found a large flock of robins arrayed along the southern portion of the trail (and nowhere else in the park). Finally, at the intersection with Maple Hill Trail, I found a pair of White-throate Sparrows feeding on the staghorn sumac berries at that location. A very birdy day!

Click on the pictures for larger versions!

Northern Cardinal

American Tree Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Northern Cardinal feeding on Staghorn Sumac

Northern Cardinal

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird. This female was singing along with the male.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

American Robin

White-throated Sparrow. It has Staghorn Sumac berry residue in its bill. The berries are just out of shot to the left.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/27/11
Number of species:     19

Canada Goose     1
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     6
Downy Woodpecker     7
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     1
Blue Jay     5
American Crow     13
Black-capped Chickadee     18
Tufted Titmouse     11
White-breasted Nuthatch     4
Brown Creeper     1
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     3
Eastern Bluebird     8
American Robin     14
American Tree Sparrow     1
White-throated Sparrow     2
Northern Cardinal     12

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Owl Woods • February 26

Mary Flood and I birded Owl Woods during the noon hour today. We didn't find any owls, though there were a number of passerines as we first went in. On the way out, we accidentally flushed a sharp-shinned hawk. The ID puzzled us for it was an immature hawk, making it harder to identify. However, Daena Ford, Co-Director of Braddock Bay Raptor Research and a member of the Hawk Migration Association of North America's Board, was able to help me with the pictures I sent her. Thanks, Daena!

Click the pictures for larger versions!

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Location:     Braddock Bay WMA--Owl Woods
Observation date:     2/26/11
Number of species:     16

Canada Goose     8
Sharp-shinned Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     4
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     6
Tufted Titmouse     2
American Robin     2
European Starling     30
White-throated Sparrow     2
Northern Cardinal     2
American Goldfinch     6
House Sparrow     4

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

Oatka Creek Park • February 26

It was a partially sunny 14F sunrise birding hike in Oatka today. It was mostly sunny from sunrise (just before 7 AM) until about 8:30 AM, when clouds and light snow rolled in. The birds were very active and vocal during that one and a half hour window, and then generally scarce afterwards. Traveling the dirt road leading into the woods, I picked up crows, a jay, titmice, a tree sparrow, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, singing cardinals, a chickadee, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Downy Woodpecker. The cardinals were in fine voice today, and their songs were heard throughout the park. Moving into the woods of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, a Pileated Woodpecker called out. Things then quieted down along Warbler Loop, and picked up again along Gypsum Hollow Trail: a kingfisher rattled an alarm along the creek for quite some time, a nuthatch called out, a trio of kinglets passed by me, and the "turalee" call of a bluebird began for what would be background for most of the remainder of the walk. Along Sapsucker Trail, the resident Red-tailed Hawk flew through the area. Turning around and eventually walking the northern side of the creek along Trout Run Trail, only a pair of Mallards increased the species list, though individuals from previously mentioned species were also found. Moving out into the fields of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, another Red-tailed Hawk flew by with crows in hot pursuit while a small "vee" of Canada Geese crossed the sky. Deciding to take Old Burrell Road back to the parking lot, I passed a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, flying slowly along the treetops and clearly together. I caught up with (probably) the Pileated Woodpecker from the beginning of the walk and had a brief photo-op. As I approached the parking lot, a Carolina Wren called out from the swamp.

Black Billed Cuckoo Trail

Northern Cardinal

Mallard

Mallard

Mallard

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/26/11
Number of species:     18

Canada Goose     11
Mallard     2
Red-tailed Hawk     4
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     4
Downy Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     2
Blue Jay     4
American Crow     18
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Tufted Titmouse     7
White-breasted Nuthatch     5
Carolina Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     3
Eastern Bluebird     2
American Tree Sparrow     1
Northern Cardinal     6

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • February 24

It was a cloudy and occasionally drizzling 37F sunset birding hike at Oatka today. It was a quiet evening with most of the activity on the walk happening along the dirt road into the woods: a flicker, chickadees, Hairy Woodpeckers, crows, and a Pileated Woodpecker. Once in the woods of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I picked up a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Along Warbler Loop a cardinal did a quick exploratory flyby. The creek was empty tonight from the dam ruins to the bridge. Heading out into the fields of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, I was surprised when a Red-tailed Hawk launch from one of the nearby small stands of trees along the trail. I don't recall seeing a Red-tailed in this area of the park before. That would be it as the gloom deepened in the park as I headed back to my car.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-tailed Hawk

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/24/11
Number of species:     8

Red-tailed Hawk     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Hairy Woodpecker     3
Northern Flicker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     1
American Crow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     5
Northern Cardinal     1

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

Oatka Creek Park • February 23

It was a sunny and 40F sunset birding hike in Oatka today. It was another very quiet night with all the birds pretty much "on station" and in their usual areas. Walking in from the parking lot, crows flew overhead to their nightly city roosting locations. In the woods of Black Billed Cuckoo Trail, the Hairy Woodpeckers called out their alarms and chickadees were their usual inquisitive selves. Along the creek side of Gypsum Hollow and Sapsucker Trails, a Downy Woodpecker and a White-breasted Nuthatch foraged away while a Belted Kingfisher rattled up and down the creek for quite some time. A Pileated Woodpecker called in the distance. Seeing that the creek water level continues to drop, I crossed at the bridge and walked the length of Trout Run Trail. I picked up a pair of Mallards, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Tufted Titmouse along this stretch. At this point I turned around and made my way back to the parking lot, picking up a cardinal on the way out.


White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Bridge over Oatka Creek

Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     2/23/11
Number of species:     11

Mallard     2
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     1
American Crow     35
Black-capped Chickadee     3
Tufted Titmouse     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Northern Cardinal     1

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

Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge - February 23

Over the lunch hour Mary Flood and I checked out Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge. The channel was filled with ice and there were two or three small patches of open water just south of the bridge. Our highlights were a Canvasback and a half-dozen Trumpeter Swans.



Rock Pigeon with checkered plumage

Immature Great Black-backed Gull

Mute Swan

Trumpeter Swans

Juvenile Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Location:     Irondequoit Bay Marine Park--Bay Outlet
Observation date:     2/23/11
Number of species:     16

Canada Goose     X
Mute Swan     X
Trumpeter Swan     6
Mallard     X
Canvasback     1
Redhead     X
Greater Scaup     X
White-winged Scoter     1
Long-tailed Duck     2
Common Goldeneye     X
Red-breasted Merganser     1
Ring-billed Gull     X
Herring Gull     X
Great Black-backed Gull     X
Rock Pigeon     X
House Sparrow     X

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