Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, November 18, 2012
Now THIS was a week!
This was a remarkable week, with a great deal of activity. I saw ducks that I had never seen before, and got a few good pictures of them. I also caught a Dark-Eyed Junco that I haven’t seen in quite some time. These are some of the coolest mornings that I have experienced, and it brought out a lot of action, as well. There were a number of lucky action shots, and I actually had to narrow down the photos a great deal. This week, I took well over 800 pictures, which is most likely the most that I have ever taken in one week. Between birds and scenery, I was very happy with the representation of things that I was able to capture.
Look at this Fish
The Great Blue Heron got himself a good-sized fish, and shared the Southern Cove with the usual Mallards and the lone American Coot that would rather be with the Mallards instead of his Home-Boys. I still haven’t really figured out the reasoning behind that yet.
Greater Scaups in Oklahoma?
Now for the exciting and important news! Surprisingly, there has been a good turnout of Greater Scaups. You might recall that in the spring, I saw Lesser Scaups, but never the greater, who just are not from this area. Being pleasantly surprised, I worked rather hard to try to obtain better photos, but these are clearly the Greater Scaups. These are more coastal birds, and rarely make into these inland areas, so it appears that they are also heading north in order to begin breeding soon. Many ducks and gulls are here just biding their time for when nature kicks in and tell them that it is time to continue on.
The Buffleheads managed to arrive this week, and I got a few good pictures of them. These ducks have large heads, and are known as buffalo-heads. I can verify that they are one of the best diving ducks that I have ever seen. During the Athos I oil spill of ’04, we got three of them, and kept them in a pelagic pool. A couple of them needed to be tube fed, and I recall having quite a time trying to catch them because they were so remarkably fast once they were in the water. They are well-known for the large white patch on their heads that runs from the back of the eye to the crown of the head.
I also caught a Dark-Eyed Junco, which is a songbird that I haven’t seen in quite some time. They are very common birds and will come to your feeders if you are willing to provide nuts, black-oil sunflower seeds, and breadcrumbs. They are sweet little birds with a very melodic song. They should be here with us during the winter.
Mallard and his Crayfish
I also wanted to include a few shots that will be a little more uncommon viewing for you, and I managed to get a number of those. A male Mallard caught a crayfish, and literally had to run from other ducks in order to be able to try to eat his prize.
This female Ring-necked Duck was all by herself and has been that way for a number of days. She has been associating with the Greater Scaups and has never been very far from them. She has a very thin, white eye ring, and also happens to be a diving duck..
Here’s a shot of a male Bufflehead showing off, and since you can see the underside, you can appreciate what a lovely bird that this really is. I don’t know how long they will be here, but I’m definitely enjoying the stateliness of their looks.
Now, I will sign off and hope that I have just as many new things to report for you next edition. It truly was filled with excitement this week and I was very pleased with the birds that I was fortunate enough to see.
I saw a young man, who made mention that the Snow Geese come to the area right about now. Hopefully, I will be able to see them soon, as they come to Boomer Lake in great numbers. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds, and happy birding to one and all.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and I will talk to you next week.