I figured it was a good sign when I saw my first notable before I even got there. This hawk was perched atop a telephone pole just north of the park, and I snapped a quick shot through the truck window while I waited for the light to turn green.
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
When I reached Bear Creek Park I found the playground areas quite busy, but the rest of the park was almost empty. I picked a quiet area alongside Langham Creek and headed out. The trees and underbrush were busy with warblers (basically unidentifiable with no binocs and my limited ID-ing skills), cardinals and chickadees.
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)
Walking along the edge of the creek, I found mockingbirds, more chickadees, and this busy little Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), who just refused to sit still long enough for me to get a better picture.
(Click on any image to view a larger version)
As the creek turned away from the clearing to double back into the trees, I came upon a stand of sycamore trees, bare except for their seed balls and peeling bark.
There was activity going on high up in those branches, but it took a few minutes to finally spot just exactly who it was that kept hopping around from trunk to branch and tree to tree. Unfortunately, this fellow was also too shy (or maybe just too hungry?) to let me get a better shot.
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
All in all, it was a good outing, if abbreviated. Final list of (identified) birds for this trip:
- Red-shouldered Hawk
- Great Egret
- Common Grackle
- Carolina Chickadee
- Eastern Phoebe
- Northern Cardinal
- Black Vulture
- Northern Mockingbird
- Red-bellied Woodpecker
- American Crow