Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • August 29

Great Blue Heron. The juvenile herons are becoming a bit of a fixture along the creek of late. There are at least two that are hanging around pretty reliably.

Monarch. There has been a bit of a Monarch population explosion along the creek. Instead of one or two, there are now half a dozen or more. The rest of the park has seen a similar increase of Monarchs flying about, too.

Spotted Sandpiper. Tonight someone in the park was telling me that these birds breed in the park along the creek, as if this were common knowledge. It may be for some, but a check of the New York State Bird Breeding Atlas, 2nd edition, lists this species as only a "probable" breeder in area that includes the northern half of Oatka Creek Park. (The park straddles two atlas blocks.) In this case, I would believe this person based on my person observations and discussions with those behind the atlas about how hard it is to cover the state in detail with too few observers available. (Atlas observers are all volunteers. By the way, the field work for the 3rd edition atlas begins in 2020, so get ready!) Fortunately, he had fairly detailed information about where to look for their nesting sites. Now that that I know where to look, I'll be looking next spring!

Baltimore Oriole. More birds are beginning to emerge from hiding, it seems, like this juvenile.

Eastern Wood-Pewee. These birds are *very* vocal right now, in stark contrast to most other species. They are also cool customers, not seeming to be very disturbed by my proximity.

Eastern Wood-Pewee. "Pee-a-wee! Pee-wee!"

Indigo Bunting. This juvenile, that I encountered a couple weeks ago along the creek, is still in the same area. It was giving machine gun "spitting" calls. It's a wonder I got a picture with its bill closed!

Belted Kingfisher. My daily picture.

Downy Woodpecker. Woodpecker activity from multiple species has picked up sharply this week, too.