Saturday, June 30, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • June 17

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Gray Catbird

Yellow Warbler

Mallard. This looks like an immature duck molting into its first set of adult feathers. The wings come first, and the ones on this bird look shiny and new. After the primary flight feathers, the other feathers in a mallard molt according to Cornell's Birds of North America.

Song Sparrow

Hairy Woodpecker. This looks like a fledgling! Note the lack of the characteristically long woodpecker tail -- it hasn't grown one yet. There are also patches of buff mixed in with the white on the head. Finally, the red on the back of the head (this is a male) is just two small patches. The red would be more pronounced in an adult.

Red Admiral. The caterpillar of the Red Admiral is variable in color. The later caterpillars seem lighter and redder in color than the earlier jet black caterpillars.

Red Admiral. This caterpillar looks darker, though the feet are red.

Red Squirrel. I am still surprised to find Red Squirrels still eating last year's black walnuts in late June. Either the supply normally lasts a full calendar year or last year was a bumper crop (which I think it was.)

Baltimore Oriole

Wild Mint

Blue-winged Warbler. This was an interesting episode. These are normally well hidden birds that are easy to hear but very hard to see. Not this one! It stayed out in the open, carrying food, and screaming at me! I finally realized the source of the commotion when a fledgling Blue-winged Warbler popped up next to me and gave me a good long inspection, i.e., I was the first human it had ever had a chance to examine. The adult, of course, was going bonkers with the perceived threat to its offspring.

Blue-winged Warbler. The fledgling left before I could get its picture, but I took a couple of the adult as a consolation prize and moved on.

Common Milkweed. This species is starting to fade, though slowly. Replacing it are Butterfly Weed (which is a member of the milkweed family) and Swamp Milkweed. I will have pictures of both in a future report.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird