Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • April 29

White-tailed Deer. Recently, in the afternoons the deer are starting to lie down near the bluebird nesting boxes. This began a week or two ago and I have never noticed them doing that before. You can't really say we've had really warm afternoons lately, either. However, the field around the nesting box is now high enough that when a deer does lie down, it is fairly well concealed.

Turkey Vulture

Song Sparrow. If you listen, there are two types of Song Sparrow songs being sung this spring. One is a traditional "Madge, Madge, Madge, put on the tea kettle-ettle-ettle!" The other is a "Madge, Madge, Madge!" following by insect buzzes. Some suggest the buzzes sound like the vocalizations of a Clay-colored Sparrow, thought the introductory notes ("Madge"s) immediately identify it as Song Sparrow. Have some Song Sparrows learned to (partially) imitate Clay-colored Sparrows? If so, why?

Song Sparrow

Red Squirrel. I read somewhere that the Eastern Gray Squirrel tends to displace the smaller Red Squirrel, and that might be true in suburban backyards. However, the Red Squirrel population seems stable and healthy in Oatka and, at times, more numerous than Eastern Gray Squirrels.

Great Blue Heron. So far, this has not been a great year for spotting herons along the creek, though the season is early. The water level has been high and the current fast, making it less ideal for fishing.

Great Blue Heron

Tree Swallow. The (different) nesting box with the bluebird brood continues to do well with both adults regularly bringing food for the nestlings.

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

American Lady. Though the Red Admiral invasion seems to have die down considerably, now, there are still seems to be many more Red Admiral butterflies in the park than one might expect.