Saturday, February 2, 2013

Oatka Creek Park • February 2

White-tailed Deer. The deer at Oatka seem to be increasingly relaxed with my presence, now that hunting season has ended. These were two of three deer that were far more interested in watching me than leaving. When I finally started walking in their general direction to head towards a Pileated Woodpecker, they unhurriedly turned and walked away. I found the woodpecker, but it left before I could get a picture.

Winter Wren. I found the resident Winter Wren again after an absence of a couple of weeks. It was in a playful mood and played hide-and-seek for a few minutes. I haven't seen this behavior since the heavy weather set in just before Christmas.

Winter Wren. It would sit still, "dit-dit"ing away until I had it focused in my camera and ready to press the shutter button. Then, at the last possible moment it would move out of the field of view and take up a new perch and restart the process. It did this about half a dozen times.

Black-capped Chickadee. At one point a good sized flock of chickadees and titmice came into the area along the creek where I was standing. It was a very birdy several minutes with a woodpecker and nuthatch, to boot! Then, all was quiet as they moved on. As I resumed walking along the creek, the deep silence was suddenly shattered by vigorous alarm calls from previous unnoticed crows in the vicinity. I was thinking some poor Red-tailed Hawk was about to get a full mobbing by the crows when I looked up and an adult Bald Eagle flew directly overhead at treetop level! The crows left the scene shortly thereafter. A few moments later a small flock of ducks flew off from the heading of the eagle. They were in "stealth" mode: wing whistles and other sounds completely suppressed. Later in the southern half of the park I heard then saw a Common Raven make a long flight across a field, calling the entire time. It was a fun morning!