Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • December 20

White-tailed Deer. Deer hunting season has ended in our part of the state. Even so, the deer are still showing extreme caution when spotted. Peeking through layers of brambles is about all they will dare at the moment.

Red-bellied Woodpecker. The bright red crown of these birds seem all the more colorful due to the drab winter surroundings.

Brown Creeper. These are one of my favorite winter birds. Though they generally don't sing this time of year, I did hear a brief snatch of song this morning.

Brown Creeper

Coyote. And here was today's five-star surprise! The presence of coyotes in the park is well documented by their footprints in the fresh snow and how quickly a deer's carcass is reduced to clean bones. I have encountered a coyote in Oatka before, though this was the first photo-op.

Coyote. This is a close-up of the previous picture. I was on the northern bank of Oatka Creek and the coyote was directly across on the southern bank.

Coyote. It was around 8:45 AM on a cloudy morning: seemingly rather late into the morning to be out and about for a nocturnal animal. However, the field guides suggests this is not really all that unusual.

Coyote. Despite having the creek between us, the coyote was not comfortable with my notice and was actively scrambling up the steep bank to get away into hiding.

Carolina Wren. This was a brief encounter along the creek. Otherwise, things were quiet this morning, bird-wise at least.

Carolina Wren