The storms of the past week left Oil Creek State Park none the worse for wear, based on our day trip Sunday.
We’d hoped to see the same multitude of warblers that haunted the Venango County park in summer 2012 at a time when many of the migrants in Presque Isle State Park had already moved on. And we did manage chestnut-sided warbler and yellow warbler sightings, as well as American redstart and common yellowthroat encounters.
Those were hardly all, though.
On Burns Lane, we spooked a lifer barred owl off a roadside perch and to a new vantage point about 40 yards into the forest:
At Petroleum Center bridge, as we searched the vegetation for singing warblers, a purple finch – raspberry, really — dropped in on us for a look of his own.
Near Blood Farm Day Use Area, a spotted sandpiper sashayed not on the creek bank but down the edge of the road, then fluttered uphill and disappeared into the foliage. And two red-tailed hawks soared through the cut of the valley.
At Miller Farm Bridge, cedar waxwings were nearly as abundant as the insects they chased as dusk neared.
Oil Creek was high, thanks to runoff from our recent spate of rainstorms; kayakers were on the bank at the takeout just north of Petroleum Centre. The banks were overrun at Miller Farm Bridge, nearer the north end of the bank, where fishing was about pointless. At Petroleum Center, the banks also were flooded but the stream was off-color, not chocolate. Fly fishermen were gearing up around 6 p.m. for a go at the trout. Boys with spinning gear fishing midday from the bank there appeared to have had no luck.
Deer in summer red grazed roadside along White City Road as we made our way along Miller Farm Road and back toward Titusville. A bobolink briefly showed itself along Miller Farm Road before settling back into high grass.