Saturday, February 23, 2013

Black Creek Park • February 23

Tree Farm Trail. This is the same area I photographed a little while ago when all the trees were frosted with freshly fallen snow. The area feels different without that frosting. Perhaps still magical, but in a very different way.

Red Squirrel. Most of the time one has to marvel at how clever the members of the animal kingdom are. But, once in a while you wonder. I would have never noticed this squirrel for it was quite some distance away from the trail in the underbrush. However, once it saw me, it put up an alarm loud enough to raise the dead! When I naturally looked in its direction as a result, it suddenly decided it needed to hide, so it began climbing this tree until it realized I was watching it. At that point it froze in full sight. Next time, buddy, just keep quiet! :-)

Red-bellied Woodpecker. The county park map describes Black Creek's Bluebird Trail as a great place to find birds year round. I have always wondered at that because the seemingly solid mass of high, dense shrubbery doesn't seem to me to support that statement. Also, I've never found the trail to be very birdy at all. However, today it was Bird Central! A large mixed flock anchored by chickadees and woodpeckers was working the area along the trail for food. They were finding it, too, as this Red-bellied had just finished caching a large goodie in a neighboring tree's bark moments before this picture.

Red-bellied Woodpecker. On to look for the next munchie!

Red-tailed Hawk. This hawk definitely wants to use one of the several nests in Hardwood Swamp this spring. I've seen it now more than once trying to establish this area as its territory. However, it did not like my notice, despite the large distance between us. (By the way, I am now using a new 50x ultrazoom camera, so shrink this bird fifty times to get a sense of how far away this picture was taken.)

Red-tailed Hawk. It didn't waste any time leaving and finding a different and better hidden perch. This is about a second before launching.

Species Seen

Canada Goose
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Tree Sparrow
House Sparrow