Monday, May 28, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • May 15

Hairy Woodpecker. After this day I decided to not take any more pictures of the Hairy Woodpeckers out defending their nests, even though they were providing some pretty attractive photo opportunities. I would just glide through their areas on the trails, note the sounds of the nestlings and continue on. The second Hairy nest I found this season was silent for the first time today. So, it looks like both broods have successfully fledged. Now, if I can get a picture of a Hairy fledgling ...

Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Though migration continues throughout May in our area with large numbers of migrating individuals still being banded by the BBBO banding station up on Lake Ontario, by the middle of May migration waves are pretty much done in Oatka. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that were easy to hear and find two weeks ago when this picture was taken, are now rapidly becoming scarce as they begin nesting.

Star-of-Bethlehem. These flowers can't seem to catch a break in Oatka. This flower and its associated group were consumed by the rapid emergence and growth of Stinging Nettles along the creek. However, the Stars come up every year in the same location and I can see pollen sprinkled about in the picture. So, perhaps they accomplished their task and all is well for the next season. There is a second group of these flowers along Old Burell Road Trail that were whacked by the park trail lawn mower. Again, however, they return each year at that spot, so perhaps the wildflowers win in the long run!

Indigo Bunting. These birds still seem to be sorting out the details of territories and mates as regularity in numbers, locations, and appearances indicative of nesting isn't evident yet this season. 

Monarchs. I found a Monarch caterpillar on a milkweed today! I'll save that story for the pictures in a future report.

Baltimore Oriole. Now that these birds are nesting, their number have stabilized and their territories fairly easy to define. This is an oriole from either the Black Billed Cuckoo field territory or the Bluebird Trail territory. There is also a Trout Run Trail territory near the creek. There may be a fourth territory along Brown Creeper Trail, but that area is so birdy (and quite inaccessible off trail due to thick brambles) that I am focusing on other species and haven't made such a thorough oriole evaluation there.