Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 28

It was a sunny and *very* windy, 63F late afternoon birding hike in Oatka today. Yesterday's warblers at Oatka are today's memories, either because they were in deep hiding from the wind, or used the wind to move further along their migration route. The roaring of the wind masked most of the bird vocalizations, also reducing the bird count. Moving to plan B, I decided to take Woodland Trail along the western stretch of Oatka Creek in the hopes of find some birds using the natural topology of that region as shelter from the wind. I didn't find any birds, but I did see that the large patches of bluebells are ready to burst into springtime splendor. When I reached Bluebird Trail, I found the male bluebird defending its territory while Tree Swallows zoomed overhead. Checking the copse along this trail for sheltering birds resulted in a very nice photo-op with a Field Sparrow. In the eastern field of Bluebird Trail, an Eastern Towhee played hide-and-seek with me and resoundingly won the game as it flew off precisely at the moment I finally found it and raised my camera. :-) The remainder of the hike produced standard fare.


American Goldfinch


American Goldfinch


Mourning Cloak


Downy Serviceberry


Large-flowered Trillium


Mallard


Mallard


Virginia Bluebells


Virginia Bluebells


Virginia Bluebells


Lesser Celandine


Eastern Bluebird


Eastern Bluebird


Field Sparrow


Field Sparrow


Downy Serviceberry


Northern Cardinal


Field Sparrow


Early Saxifrage


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/28/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     22


Mallard     2
Turkey Vulture     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     3
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     1
Tree Swallow     5
Black-capped Chickadee     6
Eastern Bluebird     1
American Robin     6
Gray Catbird     1
Brown Thrasher     2
European Starling     2
Eastern Towhee     2
Field Sparrow     6
Song Sparrow     6
White-throated Sparrow     4
Dark-eyed Junco     2
Northern Cardinal     6
Red-winged Blackbird     8
Brown-headed Cowbird     1
American Goldfinch     11


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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 27

It was a mostly cloudy and windy, 83F late afternoon birding hike in Oatka today. Like most western New York regions reported today, Oatka saw a large influx of new bird species today borne by the strong southern winds. Warbler Loop's namesakes, Yellow Warblers, are now present in significant numbers along the Loop and elsewhere in the park. A Blue-headed Vireo was a pleasant surprise, followed by a group of more-expected Yellow-rumped Warblers. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher made its way through the wooded section separating the western and eastern fields along Bluebird Trail. My first of the season Gray Catbird in Oatka was also present. Finally, Ruby-crowned Kinglets continue to be represented among the park's inhabitants. Add in the seemingly ever-present singing of the Brown Thrashers and Eastern Towhees, and things are pretty interesting at Oatka these days! :-)


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Eastern Cottontail


White Tail Deer


White Tail Deer


Eastern Bluebird


Eastern Bluebird


Eastern Bluebird


Downy Serviceberry


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/27/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     32


Turkey Vulture     9
Red-tailed Hawk     2
Killdeer     1
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Blue-headed Vireo     1
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     4
Tree Swallow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     4
Tufted Titmouse     1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
Eastern Bluebird     1
American Robin     6
Gray Catbird     1
Brown Thrasher     3
Yellow Warbler     6
Yellow-rumped Warbler     3
Eastern Towhee     8
Chipping Sparrow     2
Field Sparrow     3
Song Sparrow     6
White-throated Sparrow     5
Dark-eyed Junco     1
Northern Cardinal     8
Red-winged Blackbird     6
Brown-headed Cowbird     7
American Goldfinch     7


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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Owl Woods • April 27

It was remarkable migration day today with warm, strong southernly winds bringing in hoards of migrating birds! At the Braddock Bay hawk watch platform, they recorded a 40,000+ day with the vast majority of the birds being Broad-winged Hawks. Over lunch I went to Owl Woods, which is nearby the hawk watch platform. I noticed a dozen or more Sharp-shinned Hawks in the air over the woods as I entered. (Over 1500 Sharp-shinneds were counted by the hawk watch platform.) I did not find any owls, but the woods were filled with other migrating birds. Ruby-crowned Kinglets seemed to be everywhere and I had another first-of-the-year sighting for me: a Great Crested Flycatch. It was a fun day and a shame that I had to rush back to work! :-)


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Ruby-crowned Kinglet. This bird may be looking at one of the many Sharp-shinned Hawks in the air overhead, hoping not to be detected itself.


Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Yup, there is definitely something overhead that is more important than me and my camera! :-)


Great Crested Flycatcher. These are normally *very* loud birds. This one started calling from the edge of the trail, about four feet away from me. I nearly jumped out of my socks! :-)


Location:     Braddock Bay WMA--Owl Woods
Observation date:     4/27/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     2


Great Crested Flycatcher     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     3


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 26

It was a stormy 78F late afternoon birding hike in Oatka today. With a break in the thunderstorms, I made a "surgical strike" down to the park for a quick and abbreviated birding run. Today, the Eastern Towhees were singing their "Drink your tea!" song throughout the park. Brown Thrashers were also in full voice and calling from several locations. Many other species were singing, as well, of course. After briefly surveying a muddy and churning Oatka Creek that seemed to threaten to overflow its lower bank, I came back up the far side of Warbler Loop which has been a hotspot for kinglets of late, and found a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Nearby thunder started to sound as I raced to the bluebird nesting boxes in order to get at least a glance at whatever activity there was to be seen. I found a quartet of very vocal Tree Swallows swooping over and around the nesting boxes. I was noticing how their calls were sounding particularly electric when the whole area was suddenly lit up by a somewhat distant lighting strike. Rotating on my heels at that point, I double-timed it back to the car. Still, it was a very birdy run!


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Eastern Towhee


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/26/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     20


Turkey Vulture     3
Red-bellied Woodpecker     3
Downy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     2
Blue Jay     5
American Crow     4
Tree Swallow     4
Black-capped Chickadee     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     4
Brown Thrasher     2
Eastern Towhee     5
Field Sparrow     2
Song Sparrow     1
White-throated Sparrow     2
Northern Cardinal     4
Red-winged Blackbird     4
Brown-headed Cowbird     4
American Goldfinch     2


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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oatka Creek Park • April 24

It was a sprinkling, 54F mid-afternoon birding hike in Oatka today. The hike was somewhat abbreviated due to the rain and other commitments. After spending a weekend with wood warblers in Pine Barrens of New Jersey, I was interested to see if any had reached Oatka yet. I didn't find any, though the Field Sparrows, absent where I was in NJ, were in fine voice and respectable numbers. Numbers for Brown Thrashers continue to grow, and I had another good photo-op on Warbler Loop with one thrasher in particular. The ranks of the Eastern Towhees continue to swell, though I haven't heard them consistently break into their "Drink your tea!" songs yet this season. The creek was very high, fast, and turbid, probably dissuading any waterfowl for the time being. Finally, as I briefly stepped onto Bluebird Trail to take a quick survey of the nesting boxes while the drizzle intensified, I noted a nesting pair atop their usual box, occasionally swooping to the ground to snag a bug before returning to their station. I wonder if this coming week will produce the first fledglings of the season?


Red-winged Blackbird


Brown Thrasher


Northern White Violet


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Brown Thrasher


Northern Cardinal


Northern Flicker


Periwinkle


Common Dandelion


Location:     Oatka Creek Park
Observation date:     4/24/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     21


Red-bellied Woodpecker     5
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Blue Jay     2
American Crow     6
Black-capped Chickadee     4
Tufted Titmouse     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Eastern Bluebird     2
American Robin     8
Brown Thrasher     3
Eastern Towhee     3
Chipping Sparrow     1
Field Sparrow     4
Song Sparrow     2
White-throated Sparrow     4
Dark-eyed Junco     6
Northern Cardinal     4
Red-winged Blackbird     3
American Goldfinch     5


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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hawkin Road Backyard • April 22

After birding Bear Swamp in the morning, I sat quietly in my mother's backyard for an hour and recorded everything I saw and heard. It gave Bear Swamp a run for its money, that's for sure! :-) I was able to get many great pictures!


White-throated Sparrow


Pine Warbler


Chipping Sparrow


Pine Warbler


Pine Warbler 


Red-bellied Woodpecker


Chipping Sparrow


Chipping Sparrow


Carolina Wren


Carolina Wren


Eastern Bluebird, the state bird of New York.


Eastern Bluebird


Ruby-throated Hummingbird


American Goldfinch, the state bird of New Jersey.


American Goldfinch


American Goldfinch


Downy Woodpecker


Carolina Chickadee. It was wonderful each morning to be gently awaken to the "fee-bee-fee-bay" of these birds. It made the songs of our Black-capped Chickadees almost coarse in comparison.


Location:     Hawkin Road Backyard
Observation date:     4/22/11
Notes:      
Number of species:     23


Turkey Vulture     1
Broad-winged Hawk     2
Mourning Dove     1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     2
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     3
Fish Crow     2
Carolina Chickadee     2
Tufted Titmouse     4
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
Carolina Wren     1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     1
Eastern Bluebird     1
Pine Warbler     1
Eastern Towhee     1
Chipping Sparrow     2
White-throated Sparrow     6
Dark-eyed Junco     2
Northern Cardinal     1
Brown-headed Cowbird     1
American Goldfinch     3


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