Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • May 2

Song Sparrow. This was one of those thrilling days near the peak of spring migration!

Common Grackle. You can count the number of grackles in the park on one hand, so there are none of the problems that come with huge flocks of these birds.

Pileated Woodpecker. This is a male from the red "mustache" and forehead.

Wild Geranium. This flower is in bloom in all the deep shadows of the park.

Yellow Warbler. This species is simply everywhere in the park now!

Yellow Warbler. This is a male from the rusty breast streaks. Females have no such streaks and are a paler yellow. They are also much more furtive and getting a photo-op of a female is far more difficult that it is of a male.

Yellow Warbler. Behavior is even an easier way to tell a male from a female with this species. Only a male would be out in the open singing like this.

Question Mark. Last year it seemed the prevalent anglewing butterfly in the park was the Eastern Comma, but this spring it seems to be the Question Mark.

Song Sparrow. Along the creekside is prime Song Sparrow territory. In addition to perching in the open and singing, they are also found in the undergrowth being much more evasive. This little guy was acting like he had been caught with his pants down and didn't know what to do. He eventually remembered he had wings and flitted off to another patch of cover.

Pileated Woodpecker. This was an interesting encounter as two Pileateds were having a dispute and I watched the entire dustup until the loser flew off. This victor is a female from the tan forehead and black "mustache". 

Pileated Woodpecker. No, this bird is not making a sound. It is panting, perhaps from the exertion of battling the other Pileated.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker. It's mouth is temporarily closed, as it is open again in subsequent pictures not shown here.

Eastern Bluebird. This female has food for a nestling, though it is waiting until the conditions are right before approaching the nesting box. Here, it is looking skyward in search of potential predators, e.g., a hawk.

Eastern Bluebird. She entered the nesting box seconds after this photograph was taken.

Eastern Towhee. This male was calling alarms and a female in the same tree (out of shot) was replying. The female was much more deeply hidden and subsequent avoided the camera lens.

Lawrence's Warbler. This is a Golden-winged Warbler x Blue-winged Warbler hybrid. The wing bars are yellow and the throat is black. However it is missing the white field marks on the face of a pure Golden-winged Warbler and it was singing a Blue-winged Warbler song ("bee-buzzzzz"). I encountered probably the same bird again the next day, but not since.

Lilacs. This bush is by the parking lot.