Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oatka Creek Park • June 17

Juvenal's Duskywing

Juvenal's Duskywing. Note the tongue appearing from the top of the head.

Brown Thrasher. Today the county park workers were mowing the trails. This was a bonanza for some species like the Brown Thrashers and the robins. They descended on the freshly mowed grass and scooped up all the displaced bugs!

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Orange Hawkweed

Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling (left) and parent Song Sparrow (right). You read the books and see the pictures, but when it happens in front of you, you are still surprised. Just before this picture, the Song Sparrow landed by the calling cowbird fledgling and fed it. The Song Sparrow then took up a protective stance, warning me off with this look! The adult sparrow is only about three-quarters the size of the cowbird fledgling, though that doesn't seem to matter. Clearly, this fledgling is just as important as any Song Sparrow fledgling would be.

Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling (left) and parent Song Sparrow (right). And so, the parasitic reproduction of the Brown-headed Cowbird has worked again!

White-tailed Deer. About a month or so ago a huge tree fell down across the creek trail, producing a solid wall of wood reaching to chest level. Normally I turn around at this point rather than take the rough scramble around the huge blowdown. However, today I heard the distinct bleating of a fawn coming from the other side. So, the rough scramble was taken and once on the other side I followed the bleat down to the water's edge. There, tucked against the bank of the creek, was this fawn. (Remember, I have a 50x zoom on my camera, so I did not need to get close for this picture!) The fawn's nose went into high gear as it seemed like it was trying to inhale every scent coming from me. I took a few quick pictures and then I left. The park coyote regularly patrols this area and I didn't want to accidentally tip off the fawn's location.