Sunday, May 13, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • May 3

Yellow-rumped Warbler. Among the earliest and most populous of warblers to pass through Oatka, their occurances are now starting to decline as they complete their migratory passage through the park.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Hairy Woodpecker. My daily hikes take me through two nesting territories of Hairy Woodpeckers. They routinely register their annoyance with my presence during this delicate time. Once they start their alarm calls, all the other birds in the area are alerted of my presence and my photo-ops dry up until all is quiet again.

Northern Flicker. This is a female due to the absence of a large black "mustache" or malar stripe. The white rump is well known to birders, as that is usually what one notices as the bird flies away before you realize it was there. I think the tiny heart on the rump is interesting!

Yellow Warbler. There are dozens of Yellow Warblers in the park, packed into every available niche.

Yellow Warbler. It will be a few more weeks before it becomes evident how many Yellow Warblers plan to nest in the park this year, and how many are just passing through.

Yellow Warbler. For those who go on a Caribbean cruise, the Yellow Warbler is the inspiration for the "Yellowbird" boat drink.

Yellow Warbler

Eastern Towhee. There seems to be about six established towhee territories along my route in the park. There are probably more in areas I do not normally visit.

Eastern Towhee

Brown-headed Cowbird. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cowbirds in the park, too. In Oatka it can't really be helped as the park was, historically, most recently cleared as farmland, so the dense continuous forests that cowbirds avoid do not exist. Perhaps as the area continues to mature over the coming years and the fields give way to woodlands the cowbirds will move on.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler