Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • April 25

Black-capped Chickadee. This is one of a pair of chickadees that must be nesting, as recently I always encounter them at the same location. Their calls are almost whispered and very un-chickadee-like. 

Black-capped Chickadee. This one was watching me as the other one forages.

Red-bellied Woodpecker. This is a female from the gray forehead.

Pileated Woodpecker. This appears to be a female because the "mustache" is black, not red. However, the mustache is also in the shadows and sometimes the red is not visible unless it is in full sunlight. Unfortunately, you can't see the forehead from this perspective.

Pileated Woodpecker

Large-flower Trillium

Brown-headed Cowbird. This is a female.

Yellow-rumped Warbler. It seems like this male is giving me "the look"!

Yellow-rumped Warbler

American Lady

Red Fox. Okay, up until now it has been a thoroughly standard day. Now, it becomes a remarkable one! Because of the previous few days of rain, the creek was very high and the current very strong. It was too dangerous for fly fishing, as verified by some fly fishing friends. So, I was the only human along the creekside. This fox apparently felt is was safe enough to stroll down to the creek for a drink in the broad daylight.

Red Fox. This animal was very close, by wild animal standards, and very calm. There was never a hint that anything was wrong or the fox was ill in any way. Remember, I have a so-called super zoom camera (equivalent 840 mm lens), so I am still at a very respectable distance.

Red Fox. Looking at the belly, it is now revealed this is a female. Is her den nearby? Litters are definitely produced every year in the park.

Red Fox. Remember I said I was the only human, and that the creek was too dangerous to fly fish? Two teenagers in full fly fishing gear are approaching, totally oblivious to the fox and hardly giving me a glance or inquiry as to why I am frozen, taking pictures like mad. Completely out of touch with their surroundings. The fox, of course, picks them up from a distance.

Red Fox. And what is the most hilarious thing? As the guys are just a few feet away now, the fox smoothly and silently turns around, ducks under the log seen in the background, and melts away into the understory. I say hello to the guys as they arrive and they give me a dismissive "leave us alone" grunt and walk pass, never knowing what just transpired. And their fishing? I later saw them somewhat perplexed by the water's current and spending more time out of the water than in. Well, I guess some things you can only learn by trying.

Green Frog. Another interesting apparition to see a largely nocturnal species in broad daylight.

White-tailed Deer

Eastern Bluebird. This female has food for the nestling(s) in the box. She is waiting for me to look away or the male to stand guard before she enters with her food. (Again, I am nowhere as near to the box as the picture makes it look. This is, effectively, a digiscoped image due to the reach of the lens.)

Eastern Bluebird. The male arrives which allows the female to enter the box on the left with her food (which she promptly did.)