Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • June 4

Eastern Bluebird. The adult bluebird are now moving around the park again, though I confirmed yesterday that at least one of the nesting boxes is hosting a new bluebird brood. (It's the same one pictured later on.)

Northern Rough-winged Swallows. I only see this species along the creek (and nowhere else in the park) only a few times throughout the year. It is possible that this is a newly fledged batch that is just passing through.

Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Notice how the second bird from the right is "on watch" as the others nap.

White-tailed Deer. The fawns are still well hidden and generally undetected.

Eastern Bluebird. The male stands guard over the nesting box that will hold his upcoming brood. After this day's activities, it seemed the bluebirds abandoned this box. But this turned out not to be. I found them there yesterday and realized they were simply trying not to advertise their nesting activities. The female gave me a good long stare until she decided it was safe to approach and enter the box. I'll have pictures of that episode in a future report.

Eastern Bluebirds. The female arrives with nesting material (some is now sticking out of the box and she is standing on more.) As always, I have a super zoom camera (35x or 840 mm equivalent) and the nesting boxes are well away from the trail, so I am not anywhere near the boxes.

Eastern Bluebirds. The male appears to be engaging in what Cornell's Birds of North America describes as Wing-Flicking or Wing-Waving. Perhaps he is defending the nest from some unseen threat, e.g., Tree Swallows. However, the male seemed to be using this more as a communication tool with the female as she approached the box. Note that she is poking her head outside of the box.

Indigo Bunting. The appearances and songs of these birds continue to rise in the park as breeding season evolves.

Indigo Bunting

Monarch caterpillar. Though milkweeds can be found throughout the park, the patch behind the lodge is the only one that I have found that host Monarchs. With patience, I can find at least one caterpillar there every day, now.