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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday October 7, 2012

Updated on October 18, 2012
Pied-Billed Grebe
Pied-Billed Grebe | Source

Winter's Coming!

My trek to Boomer Lake was rather chilly this morning, temperatures dipping to 40 degrees F overnight. It has been a bit cool over the past several days, but we have two more mornings of even chillier weather and there is definite danger of our first frost coming. Then it will warm up a bit again. Go figure in Oklahoma!

The Pied-Billed Grebe made another special appearance this week, always alone. This beautiful little water bird is very easy to recognize. I have learned that if I see a single bird with nothing around it, to always pay special attention. It just might be one that I don’t get to see too often, especially in the midst of migration. Don’t ever tempt fate, thinking that your bird is just one of the “regulars,” as you could be kicking yourself later, by missing a photo opportunity. Those few seconds of using the zoom will not cost you much time.

Northern Shoveler Family
Northern Shoveler Family | Source
Female Northern Shoveler Feeding
Female Northern Shoveler Feeding | Source

Northern Shovelers

The Northern Shovelers are on the lake this week, too. They have their young with them, who happen to look just like the females, and most of their beaks are black. These are migratory birds, so for you in TX, keep a watch on these ducks, as they are on the way soon. It will give you a chance to see what the youthful birds look like. When they return in the spring, they will look different, for they will be adults when they return.

Red-Winged Blackbirds
Red-Winged Blackbirds | Source

Red-Winged Blackbirds

The Red-Winged Blackbirds have still been around the area, just not around the lake until this week. They had been seen in a number of back yards throughout the area taking seed. I suspect that they wanted to be in those yards sheltered with trees, since the sun upon those black feathers would create a lot more of that unbearable heat during the summer for them.

Mallard(foreground) and American Wigeon(background)
Mallard(foreground) and American Wigeon(background) | Source
American Wigeon
American Wigeon | Source

The American Wigeon

Here are a few better photos of our male American Wigeon with his Mallard friends. This one doesn’t have to go too deep to be able to find his greens, so he has no need to take any from any other ducks. For more information on the wigeon, see if your curiosity has been piqued.

Resident Canada Goose pair
Resident Canada Goose pair | Source
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source
Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

The Gang's All Here

The Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, painted turtle, and Canada Geese are still in the area enjoying food aplenty. Some of the geese have moved back onto Goose Island for the fall, and the remainder of the non-residents are making their way south. For the most part, what we have now should be the winter residents. My plan is to get some duck pellets so that I can keep them fed when the ground is too hard for feeding. Unless we have an unusually cold winter, it won’t be a lot of times that I’ll have to feed them. I know that other people feed the geese, as well, so thanks in advance from me!

Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds until next week. Happy birding!

Mallards | Source
Spider Web
Spider Web | Source
These Juvenile Great Blue Herons are Courting
These Juvenile Great Blue Herons are Courting | Source
Western Soapberry Fruit
Western Soapberry Fruit | Source


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Absolutely, Globetrekkermel. Nothing like a good coffee with good birds. If you put seed closer to you as time goes on, they will come closer to you, too.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image


      6 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      Beautiful birds Avian,i should start taking photos of the bluejays in my backyard.i love it when they chirp in the morning and join me for my coffee at the backyard!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for saying that, Barb. It's always nice to hear that people enjoy the weekly column.

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 

      6 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @aviannovice...Your photos are always special!

      Where I am in Ohio along the Maumee River, I get to watch egrets, herons, and various duck species, as well as birds. I've always had a fondness for our state bird, the Cardinal, and the Red-Winged Blackbird. Every spring, we get a view of the newest baby ducks.

      It's a nice show for those of us who don't travel anymore.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell. There are so many wonderful things at the lake. There really is something for everyone, including a jogging trail, beautiful trees and ornamental grasses. I think I will do a fall hub in a few days. I already have the photos for it.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      I do love your boomer lake hubs, and what a great name! Northern Shovelers! lol! we have black birds over here but not red wing ones, loved it! voted up! nell

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nettlemere, I'm not sure what tree they come from, other than it is at the lake. You can see through the berries! I will try to see if I can look up the tree sometime.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You'll get to the reservoir in the spring. It frosted here, too, but we are just having a cold snap. One more night of this, and it will warm up again.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Will never forget you, Mhatter. The frost was on the pumpkin last night!

    • Nettlemere profile image


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Those are strange looking berries, they remind me of tiny grilled tomatoes.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Highland Terrier! There are so many good birds out there, and I so look forward to seeing and learning more about new ones.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      xstatic, I have not seen any phoebes, yet. Maybe if you send pics, I can tell you what you have there.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Joyce, you are so welcome. I'm glad that my weekly column means so much to so many people.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I love that little pie-billed grebe, and I'm so glad you were able to grab pictures of it to share with all of us. I have heard the geese, and seen a few 'v' flocks heading south. I never did get a chance to stop at that reservoir and take pictures of the herons and geese and ducks there. Now they have left. It is very chilly here, too. We had a frost last night--the first of the season. Voted your article up across the board.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Pizza tonight. Thanks for not forgetting me.

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 

      6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland


      Love the spiderweb. Another great hub Deb and fantastic pictures. Never heard of a red wing blackbird still I start reading your hubs, so you educating me as well. Nor a American Widgeon.

      See you next week.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Great info and photos as always Deb. I was over at some local ponds the other day and saw I'm pretty sure) the American Wigeon and for sure the Blue Heron and Great Egret, along withe a Black Phoebe, along with some others I was not able to I D.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      You're are always a pleasure to read.

      Voted up and wonderful, thank you for making my day with all the great photos, Joyce.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It was my pleasure, Billy. The birds enjoyed seeing you, too.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My Sunday can now begin in earnest. I have spent my morning with Deb at Boomer Lake, visited all of my winged friends, and life is good. Thanks, as always, for a glimpse of the world through your eyes.


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