Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, December 2, 2012
See How to Get Clams the Crow Way!
On Monday, I located an American Crow with a clam. This bird was able to work it open and get the meat from it without a lot of difficulty. He managed this task in about 15 minutes, and luckily, had nobody to share it with. It surprises me that this character was alone, as there is a group of three juveniles that tends to travel together. I suppose that there is a strong probability that they all had their own treasure of various foods that they were unwilling to share with one another.
On Tuesday, I captured the Lesser Goldfinch with some perfect scenery. Last week, I saw a couple more of them, but was in the wrong spot for a good photo opportunity, since I had the sun in front of me. There is a specific area by the Southern Cove that they tend to frequent, which has a lot of thistle. I’ve been trying to hang around here as much as possible for these little birds, and it has certainly paid off.
These little beauties have a very lovely song, and eat remarkable amounts of weed seeds. They are a little smaller than the American Goldfinch.
- Lesser goldfinch - Tue 5 Apr 2011 [XQ] - YouTube
A male lesser goldfinch preens and sings from a cork oak in Paso Robles CA. The trained ear will recognize imitations of other birds. Not sure why no field g...
Here’s a much better photo of the female Bufflehead. She paired up with a male, it seems, and they both tend to feed in the same area. Both were reasonably close to the shoreline, and with this shot in the light, you can see how blue-gray her bill is.
Wednesday, the Canvasbacks made an appearance. They are rather easy to distinguish, due to the sloping profile from the front of the crown to the tip of its long dark bill. These are one of the heaviest and largest ducks in North American, averaging 2.8 pounds. Another thing that drew my attention was the fact that the males croak, so that is an unusual sound to be alert for.
The Common Goldeneyes showed themselves on Friday, and I actually had to do a double take to believe my good fortune. The bright yellow eye is most noticeable against the contrasting head of the male. There is a large white spot on the lower face behind the blackish bill. This spot is one of the main identifying field marks on this duck.
Sunday was a very foggy morning, but many water birds were a lot closer to the shore than they normally would have been. Fog can be a very good cover, but it can also hide a lot of predators in its grasp, too. Just for fun, I got a picture of the female Northern Cardinal having a little snack.
The Snow Geese Are Here!
Just as I was leaving the lake this morning, I heard the call of a number of geese, and eventually the Snow Goose flew over my head, so hopefully, they are in the area for a little while. I would hate to think that they would be flying too far in the fog, plus the fact that they would fly off without a picture taking opportunity. Perhaps next week, I’ll have a few pictures of them for you.
Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!