Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • June 8

Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Today started off in a noteworthy way when the hummingbird assumed a much closer perch than normal.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird. I have not seen him as close since.

Scarlet Tanager. These birds have quieted down substantially, though I still usually hear at least one every trip to the park. They are also harder to spot now, though that might be simply because all the leaves are now out on the trees.

Scarlet Tanager

Deptford Pink. These are one of my favorite wildflowers! They are an *intense* pink and very small, perhaps only half an inch or so across. The field guide says they are a member of the carnation family.

Common Yellowthroat. Maybe once or twice a year you get such a good look and photo-op of this skulking species. This male has decided to establish his territory on the creekside near the bridge. He calls *loudly* from a hidden perch that is no more than maybe ten feet from the trail. This day he popped up on an exposed perch and let me take my fill of pictures. Here he's in the midst of his "witchity-witchity-witchity" song.

Common Yellowthroat. Oops! I've been spotted!

Common Yellowthroat. No matter. He's more interested in singing as long as I stand still.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat. One can see here the undertail coverts, as well as the underside of the tail itself. We can now check the detailed illustrations in the Peterson Field Guide to Warblers. The undertail covert seems the right color, but the underside of the tail appears much lighter than in the field guide. The forehead band above the black mask is clearly light gray as opposed to pure white. (This is easier to see in the previous picture.) This would make it the eastern trichas subspecies, as opposed to the western compicola subspecies.

Common Yellowthroat

Eastern Bluebird

Field Sparrow

Monarch. This caterpillar is bent in a full "C" with the head on the left and the rear on the right.

Monarch. Here the caterpillar has straighten itself out.