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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday December 16, 2012
Winter is Almost Upon Us
It has been nippy in the mornings, but it has been well worth it with some of the wonderful photos obtained. The birds have been puffing themselves up to take advantage of that wonderful natural insulation, so they look larger than they are. To me, that just shows another beautiful side of their make up.
The only time that birds will have trouble staying warm, is if their natural oils have been compromised. This happens routinely in oil spills, another reason why we need alternative fuel. Perhaps one day our voices will be heard and destruction of our natural habitat will be no more. I know that is wishful thinking, but we must look to the future for our own survival.
We got a little bit of rain Friday, and I happened to be caught in it about halfway home. Fortunately, it wasn’t too terribly cold, but it was cool enough in the dark. Actually being thankful for the little moisture that we received, it was a small price to pay.
Payne County Audubon Society
A met another birder on the lake a few days ago who had his spotting scope out, so that is always a good way to recognize a fellow birder. We managed to discuss a few things about birding, and perhaps a small hope for the city of Stillwater putting in a blind or two for this great birding area. I also paid a visit to the Payne County Audubon Society web page, and found an area checklist. The first thing that I looked up, was sightings on our elusive Snow Goose from the December 2 edition. It seems that they are uncommon in this area, so it pleased me that I was able to see them at Boomer Lake. Now I will be looking for rare and uncommon birds in my jaunts around the lake. There is also a visiting birder/photographer that will be giving a few local talks upon occasion in this area, Tom Ulrich of West Glacier, MT http://tomulrichphotos.com/.
Your Local Audubon Society
Do keep a watch on the happenings of the Audubon Society in your area, too, for you could find out some things about birds that you might not have known about. It will also give you the chance to meet other birders in your specific area that might know a few special places that are good to watch birds. There are also meetings, talks, and bird walks, which are always good to learn new birds in your home areas.
Official Sighting on Glaucous Gull * Correction
Sunday morning was an important time for Boomer Lake. I’m not sure when it happened, but an area birder saw a rare gull on the lake. At first, it was possibly identified as the Glaucous Gull, which is rare inland. I met a member of the Audubon Society at the lake this morning, who mentioned the sighting. He identified the gull as the Iceland Gull, which is also rare inland. The Iceland Gull has pink legs and feet, a white tail, is a little larger than the Ring-Billed Gull, has gray tinted or white primaries, and a red eye ring. You never know what will migrate through this area, so it makes me even more determined to visit the lake on a daily basis.
**Through the efforts of the Oklahoma Bird Records Committee and other birders, the local Audubon Chapter has determined that the gull was a Glaucous Gull as originally thought. The best field mark to separate the two species concerns the length of the primaries. These feathers extend well beyond the tail tip when the wings are folded in Iceland Gull and just barely past the tail tip on Glaucous Gull.
As we all know, Boomer Lake is a very important area on the Central Flyway, and evidently, many rare to uncommon birds tend to show up here from time-to-time.
Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next week!