Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • November 11

Downy Woodpecker. It was a quiet, warm morning at Oatka today. Nearly all of the bird activity was concentrated along the creek.

Winter Wren. It was another game of hide-and-seek with the wrens, today! Today's master was this Winter Wren who must have had pity on me. I passed it going one way along the trail and gave up any chance of photographing it because it was being far too evasive. On the return trip the wren returned and was much more accommodating.

Winter Wren. You can compare the underside of the tail here with yesterday's Carolina Wren and see significant differences. Sometimes this is the only view you get from a bird and it helps to learn all the possible fields marks of a given species, e.g., like the white spots seen here that are absent on a Carolina Wren.

Winter Wren. Of course, the markings on a bird are not necessarily the easiest or most useful way to ID a bird. A Winter Wren has a spunky in-your-face attitude that is nearly sufficient in and of itself to identify it. Even though wrens in general are bold, I find the Winter Wren is clearly a notch or two above any other wren species I've encountered. 

Winter Wren. While it's playing with me, it still makes sure to turn an eye skyward from time to time to watch out for predators.

Winter Wren. And then it was gone ...

Northern Mockingbird. At the end of my hike I checked out the "microenvironment" of evergreens near the park entrance. Sure enough, the Red-breasted Nuthatch was there. While trying to get a picture, this mockingbird popped up into the field of view.

Red-breasted Nuthatch. Not very cooperative photographically today. There will be other days.