Sunday, June 30, 2013

Black Creek Park • May 5


Chipping Sparrow. This bird greeted me as I got out of my car at the parking lot.

Swamp Sparrow. You can see the reddish coloring in its wings which is one of the best field marks on this bird.

American Toad. These frogs come in a wide variety of colors and hues.

Eastern Towhee. I always enjoy getting a good look at their red eyes!

Brown Thrasher. Doing what this bird does best: singing from the top of a tall tree and filling the area with its mimicry.

Brown Thrasher

Great Blue Heron. The male has some nesting material and seems to be doing routine nest maintenance. The female looks on.

Great Blue Heron. Nest number two.

Great Blue Heron. Nest number three. You can see the heron's orange bill on the left side.

Black Creek Park • May 4


Red-bellied Woodpecker. On trips with the local birding club, the experienced hands like to impress the beginners by identifying the sex of a Red-bellied Woodpecker with just a glance through the binoculars. This one is a male because the red crown coloring extends all the way down to the bill. In a female, the red would stop halfway along the crown.

Marsh Marigolds. An impressive patch of these sunny yellow flowers borders the bridge that cuts through the heart of a hardwood swamp.

Marsh Marigold

Great Blue Heron. It was a good day for rookery spotting with at least three of the nests containing nesting birds.

Great Blue Heron. This bird is well concealed. Look for the orange bill near the top of the nest.

Great Blue Heron. This is the third nesting bird.

Great Blue Heron. One more look at the first bird before moving on.

Wild Strawberry. I always find these delightful, perhaps because I love the domesticated variety!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oatka Creek Park • May 4


Eastern Towhee. It was a glorious spring morning and the birds were singing in their finest May style!

Large-flower Trillium

Virginia Bluebells

Yellow Warbler. Warbler Loop is now their official nesting grounds, once again!

Yellow Warbler

Tree Swallow

Brown Thrasher. These birds are easy to find in May when they are singing with their distinctive mimicry. However, by June they become silent and are nearly impossible to find despite nesting in numbers throughout the park.

Brown Thrasher

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Oatka Creek Park • May 3


Virginia Bluebells. The daily bluebell picture!

Solitary Sandpiper. A brief visit by this migrating species. There will be many longer looks later in the summer as part of their return migration. You can see a video of this bird and its characteristic head bobbing at http://youtu.be/9LVwXl-FsUA .

Great Blue Heron

American Robin. It was a hot one today! Momma robin has her bill open so she can pant. (Birds don't sweat.) 

American Robin

Flowering Dogwood. These trees probably date back to when the park was a series of farms and these tree were planted near the farmhouses.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oatka Creek Park • May 2


Brown Thrasher. These are one of mimic birds in the park. The other mimics in Oatka right now are Gray Catbirds. Northern Mockingbirds like to overwinter in Oatka, but seem to nest outside the park boundaries. Sometimes people include Blue Jays with the mimics. If so, they are nesting in the park right now, too!

Yellow Warbler. Warbler Loop in the park is definitely their domain right now!

Large-flower Trillium

Virginia Bluebells

Northern Flicker. A skittish bird, it is hard to get a good picture of them despite their common appearance in the park.

Eastern Bluebird

Tree Swallow

Species List
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
Yellow Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Owl Woods • May 2


Long-eared Owl. Here is the last batch of owl pictures for the season. It was a great one! This is the same owl as was seen yesterday. In fact, it was found at the same tree! Here it has flown from that tree out into the open for a few minutes.

Long-eared Owl. Probably reacting to the several people watching it, it moved again to a new perch.

Long-eared Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl. Here's the last saw-whet we found for the season.

Long-eared Owl. One last visit to the long-ear found it had returned to its original perch in the first tree.