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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday April 14, 2012

Updated on November 15, 2012
Killdeer with baby
Killdeer with baby | Source

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Weatherwise, this was a very cloudy and windy week at Boomer Lake Park. It was almost unsettling, as you could almost feel something ominous in the air with the way that the clouds were roiling and darkening constantly. Luckily, no weather erupted upon me while I was out collecting data and photos for you, dear readers.

The Week's Events

Sunday brought a lovely Brown Thrasher, who I discovered hunting for insects. They have an assortment of beautiful sounds, and it is hard to imagine that so many lovely, diverse sounds come from one bird. At first, I thought the sound was that of a mockingbird, and I was pleasantly surprised. I discovered three baby killdeer from another clutch, and managed to get a picture of one with a parent, so you can get an idea on a relative size. Their habits are to scatter in all different directions when they feel threatened. The family moved on right after this discovery. The eggs that I have been watching are still unhatched.

Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher | Source

Brown Thrasher Songs by cfields7

The goslings are now 5 days old on Monday, and they’re growing right on schedule. At this young age, they eat constantly, as they burn energy quickly and have a high metabolism. In 5 days, it looked like they had doubled in size. The lake was also host to some visiting Blue Winged and Cinnamon Teals, all absolutely gorgeous birds.

On Tuesday, I found a beautiful Northern Flicker searching for ants. If it wasn’t for that characteristic flash of red, I would have missed him. There is also a second set of three more new goslings, and those proud parents have also left Goose Island for a new home. It is easier for them to raise their respective young in their own space. Many male geese will kill goslings if given the opportunity, so it is wise to live in this way. The Brown Headed Cowbirds have also arrived and are in full force, and will soon be looking for nests to deposit their eggs. These birds just lay eggs and allow some other bird to raise the young. The Red-Bellied Woodpeckers have been at the nest on the north side of the park for two days now, but I am not speaking in a definitive way. I have seen how European Starlings behave, and chances are still very good that they are still trying to take possession of this hole for their own nest.

Wednesday proved to be a day with another large gosling family of eight. At this stage, I really am not able to keep track of any other families. The large family does have help provided by what appears to be single females. They have been staying back from the family somewhat and watching for what they might perceive to be hidden dangers. It seems to work out very well for the parents to have what appears to be self-appointed nannies.

Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker | Source
The 8 goslings
The 8 goslings | Source

Thursday, the European Starlings were back inside the woodpecker nest. I don’t know how these two species plan to possibly share this residence, but they have been doing so thus far. Eventually, one of them will have to leave, as eggs will be lain fairly soon. The House Sparrows are still cohabitating well with the Purple Martins and Chimney Swifts. The swifts never stay still unless it is time to raise young, otherwise they are constantly on the go.


Scissor Tailed Flycatcher, State Bird of Oklahoma
Scissor Tailed Flycatcher, State Bird of Oklahoma | Source

Friday, I saw a juvenile American Coot all by himself! He’s a lovely shade of gray with a black head and has a black stripe across his bill. I also gave myself the opportunity to visit the northern end of the park for the first time. There are lots of birds in the thick woods, but the only ones that I was able to see were Northern Cardinals, who stick out like the proverbial sore thumb with that red countenance. I saw numerous butterflies, and when I crossed the bridge, it was like a totally different land. There were broad fields with lots of interesting wildflowers. I also caught a glimpse of some kind of hawk, but I was unable to get a good enough view to let you know what kind it was.

As most of you likely know, a tornado came rather close to the area at around 2:30 this morning, so it was a rude awakening for me. At 8:00 a.m., I was able to get out to check to see if any birds may have been blown off course, if we had any new visitors as a result of this tornado aftermath. Firstly, all the goslings are all right, no harm came to them with the high winds and heavy rains. I did discover that the lake was peppered with hundreds of Blue Winged Teals, Northern Shovelers, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots, Double-Crested Cormorants, and Laughing Gulls. I battled 30-35 mph winds around the lake to check on the birds and survey the damage, which was actually quite minimal. It looks like Boomer Lake actually has a proper water level now, as a result of last night’s rains. The only smaller birds in the area today were American Robins, Great Tailed Grackles, Chimney Swifts, Purple Martins, Northern Mockingbirds, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers.

Purple Martins
Purple Martins | Source
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    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Anna. There are a few differences from last year, which is why I feel that we are about two weeks behind where we were last year. It gives me data for comparison, so we'll see what happens.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      I clicked on this from this year's hub, it is so interesting to be able to see the difference between the two years. Your hub is really informative and your photos are amazing!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Rhonda. I just have a Nikon L120 and an L810, one piece camera/lens. I can get close to quite a few of them. I have a Great Blue Heron that sometimes comes with me. He also likes to be photographed.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hi again Deb, what camera and lens are you using? You are able to get so close to the smaller birds. I don't seem to be able to get close enough for many clear shots. Or possibly the birds are just very used to you. lol

      Voted up and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad you're enjoying the weekly column prescy anza. I have so much fun going out to the lake every day and seeing little surprises. Wait until this weekend's column for my surprises and photos. Did you see this week's yet?

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      I love looking at this photos! Those goslings are so cute! ^-^' And with that Northern Flicker, as you said, it's hard to missed because of the red spot in there :) That's the first thing I noticed. :)

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, being around nature is a wonderful, calming thing.

    • diyabhatt profile image

      diyabhatt 5 years ago from Noida

      Amazing hub aviannovice! All the pictures are beautiful. Thanks a lot for sharing. I also love feeding the birds in my balcony and love to capture them in my camera.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Ruby! I have been having a ball going to the lake and discovering what is there, including the surprises. It's what makes this such a fascinating and enjoyable hobby.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      That fly catcher is such a pretty bird. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with them with us. A very wonderful Hub and great read.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, indeed. We recently had high winds and a lot of rain, so some interesting visitors have been on the Boomer Lake for the past couple of days. There are some amusing things that they have done, too.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      Thank you for your beautiful hub about birds in the great outdoors. I am a wildlife artist and enthusiast and have always admired the bird life that is free and don't cost a thing to enjoy.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, glad that you like my pics. I have so many now, and not enough room in the hubs. Maybe I should do a year end special hub.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Great photos! I have a Northern Flicker that comes to eat from the suet feeder in my backyard. One of my favorite birds.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, gamby! There IS so much life there. There was also some sort of run that was going on there yesterday. One lady yelled on her way by, "Did you get pictures of the baby geese?", so a few do notice. I think I am becoming noticed, too.

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 5 years ago

      Love all the pics and the added audio of the Brown Thrasher. So many people run around the lake for their daily jog, for picnics, games, and such without ever taking notice of the beautiful wildlife and sounds surrounding them.

      Thanks! You truly bring Boomer Lake to life Deb! :)

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell. These birds are almost like my kids. I know where many of them live.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, glad that you and the birds are okay. I see what you mean about the Brown Thrasher sounding like a mockingbird, what a lovely sound! wonderful hub as always.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Joyce. I have a good time with this every week.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      This is a wonderful hub, describing all the birds you can and the photo's are so perious loved to see them.

      Voted up and awesome, Joyce.