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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday, April 7, 2012
A Busy Week
This has been a busy and eventful week at Boomer Lake. Monday, I saw the first monarch butterfly of the season. It was truly a beautiful sight, seeing that lovely black and orange harbinger of spring. I’ve seen several more throughout the week, so a few stragglers are getting here first.
Also on Monday I got a glimpse of our state bird, the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher. It is a male, and he is out and about getting a bead on things and looking for a home. The other males should be arriving shortly and the females will be here within the next week or two.
I made it to the northernmost part of the lake to spend a little time there and see what the area had to offer. It is thickly wooded, and I heard cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, and the Pileated Woodpecker. He appears to be spending time in the thickest part of the woods, so if you want to look for him out there, be sure to bring your boots. It is a little buggy, too, but I had not been bitten. The trees are blooming a great deal out there, so there is a smell of sweetness in the air, which makes it very pleasant.
The first of the season
Goose Island is proud to announce the arrival of the first goslings on Wednesday. They were likely hatched that morning and were on the water that afternoon. Thursday they were on land, and naturally, I got photos both days. Mother and father are proud of their charges, and stick close by to make certain that their discovery time is unimpeded. They have other geese helping them, too, as the little ones move quite quickly.
Red-Bellied Woodpeckers are in the area! I have found two cavities that the male has been working on. He could never fit in the first, so he moved to the second, which is on the opposite site of the same tree. The tree has two trunks, so he went from the first to the second trunk. As luck would have it, on Thursday, it was not a good day for the pair. The European Starlings moved in this second hole! Now, why couldn’t this bird take the one that was rejected? It would have been a better fit for a smaller bird! But no, it had to be this one. There was a lot of bantering and carrying on and movement all over the top of this tree, just due to these birds, plus another male Red-Bellied Woodpecker had his eye on this piece of real estate, too. You can bet that I’ll be keeping a close watch to see how the plot unfolds on this saga.
Goose Island was in a mad frenzy on Thursday. Several Ruddy Ducks showed up on the lake and tried to take the island. They were courageously held back by the geese, who put up quite a ruckus. I think the Ruddys will be relegated to the outskirts of the mainland, at least that will be the best thing for them. No hits, no runs, no errors, but a number of serious complaints as far as pride is concerned. On Friday, they were gone, so it appears that they disappeared for a new stomping ground.
There was a male Northern Mockingbird on a wire just off a telephone pole carrying on with all kinds of different songs and sounds for a good 45 minutes while I was observing in the general vicinity. He was even doing high jumps periodically. It is amazing what some birds will do to attract a potential mate.
This is interesting!
Don't Forget Your Camera!
On Friday, no sign of the goslings, unless they stayed on the other side of the island that I just can’t see. There are still a number of females on their nests, but no sign of any other young ones. There are several more Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers that made an appearance and requested photos, and naturally, I complied. There was no activity at all around the starling/woodpecker tree, so I can’t say who is victorious in ownership of that new home. I heard the woodpeckers, but they could have moved on, I just don’t know. There was a beautiful Brown Thrasher that was in the area today, and I just happened to be in the right place to observe this one feeding. A female Brown Headed Cowbird, was also feeding on the north side of the main park by the wooded area where the woodpeckers have or had their tree. I am happy that I am there during early afternoon, as you never know what you just might discover. That’s the beauty of Boomer Lake Park. One can go there at any time and generally see a number of birds, but remember: keep your eyes to the ground, as well as your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and see you next week.