Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • October 7

Eastern Phoebe. Today was a remarkable day along the creek with quite a large number of migrant species.

Great Blue Heron. This bird was in the distance, huddled underneath an outstretched tree limb.

Winter Wren. This wren gave me a nice photo-op as soon as I stepped onto Trout Run Trail along the creekside.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Winter Wren. This is the typical view one gets of this species, if you spot it at all!

Ruby-crowned Kinglet. There were a dozen or more of these kinglets milling around the creekside at one point.

Rusty Blackbird. This is a threatened species with a population decline of over 85% in the last 40 years. However, they are also a secretive species, so precise population numbers are difficult to achieve. This bird here is still largely in breeding plumage.

Rusty Blackbird. This bird is in nonbreeding plumage and the source of its common name is more apparent. In the past few years in Oatka, at any rate, Rusties have been reliable fall migrants in flock sizes of a few dozen or so.

Rusty Blackbirds. I have always found Rusties traveling with robins as a mixed flock in the fall in Oatka. As a result, looking and listening for robins might be the easiest way to spot these birds if you are at the park. Also, listen for the Rusty's squeaky door hinge sounds among the robin whinnies.

Eastern Bluebird. Bluebirds are migrating, too! The park's summer population is being replaced with the Canadian bluebirds that will overwinter in Oatka.

Eastern Bluebird. Looks like this one found a tasty spider as a snack.

Eastern Bluebird. Once the terrain turns white with snow, the blues and reds of this bird will continue to cheer the environment.

Maple Hill. The color continues to advance.