Saturday, August 18, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • August 18

Common Evening Primrose. These flowers flourish during late summer and early fall. Another sign of the end of the season is approaching!

Green Heron. A special treat for today! This juvenile stood atop an exposed tree stump in the middle of the creek near the bridge. It permitted a long and detailed photo session. One of the most interesting features on this colorful bird are the bright golden legs and feet, some of which you can see here. These birds are described as "wearing golden slippers".

Green Heron. The Crossley ID Guide (Eastern Birds) notes "Even though small, the large bill and glassy stare suggest it is not to be tangled with." 

Great Blue Heron. It was a cool morning and just breaking into the 60's. The birds seemed to enjoy the slight chill and were far more active than they have been in weeks, it seemed. This juvenile Great Blue Heron was on the other side of the bridge of the Green Heron.

Green Heron. Back to the Green. I only get two or maybe three sightings of this species in the park per year. This is my second, so it might be my last of 2012. Or, maybe I'll have a small flurry for a week or so. Stay tuned!

Green Heron. A landscape version of this shot is my latest computer desktop.

Common Mergansers. Based on eye color, that *may* be the adult female in the foreground and the two in the background are juveniles. There was a fourth merganser out of shot. The original brood of seventeen started dispersing weeks ago, so now it is more usual to see only one or two at a time. That made today's four ducks interesting.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Being relatively early in the morning, this butterfly was flying slowly and just looking for a place to sunbathe to warm up. This made for an ideal photo-op! This appears to be a male due to the general lack of blue along the hind wing border. (Both males and females have the small blue spots you see here.)

Common Ringlet. In our region this butterfly has two broods during the season and this is a member of the second brood that flies in August.

White-tailed Deer. Two bucks with antlers in velvet! They are standing upright in the goldenrod fields along Bluebird Trail. When they first spotted me, they bounded away very gracefully a couple times through the goldenrods. They then turned to inspect me for a while.

White-tailed Deer. Yet another sign of the coming passing of summer.