Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday April 21, 2012
This has been the worst week for weather, but the absolute best for birds. Many birds were blown off course with some of these 25-35 mph gusts, and ended up in a little sheltered area on the lake, which has been to my advantage. To make it even more sheltered, a tree blew down and landed in the water, which makes a perfect hiding place. Today has been the best day of the week with very little wind, so I got some wonderful pictures. My favorites are those with multiple species, and I managed to get several beauties. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy yourselves…
This Week's Sightings
One of those birds that was alone this week, was the Pied-Billed Grebe. This happens to be one of the most common and widespread in North America. It sometimes hides from intruders by sinking until only its head shows above water by diving like other members of the grebe family.
The other lone bird was the American Avocet, who was located in the sheltered area across from Goose Island. This lovely long-legged bird is the only member of its family with distinct basic and alternate plumages. Breeding adults show a rusty cinnamon on the head and neck. Winter plumage shows a gray head and neck, and as you can see, this beauty is in breeding plumage. I was as surprised to see him, as he was to see me!
A pair of geese are nesting on the mainland, which surprised me. The male stays relatively close to the female and everything seems to bother him except me. Naturally, I don’t venture too terribly close to her, but she and he have been gracious enough to allow a photo shoot.
The Forster’s Tern also arrived this week and braved some pretty serious wind. They frequent inland marshes as well as coastal regions, so this was a treat for me to see. It has a deeply forked gray tail, so one cannot miss it. Butterflies are everywhere this week. I believe the high winds also helped with the butterfly migrations, as on Monday the influx was remarkable. When I went north of Goose Island, I saw hundreds of them sticking to one tree in the woods. It was an interesting sight to see, and I got a few photos, but from that distance, they were hard to see.
On the Red-Bellied Woodpecker and European Starling saga: they evidently got together, and the woodpecker made another cavity in the same section of the tree. The Starling family has the top berth and the woodpeckers the bottom. All is copacetic now, and these two families seem to be very happy in their new arrangement.
The Killdeer nest that I was watching with the four eggs has some news. Two are gone, one was in the process of hatching on Wednesday, and the last is still intact. I have seen no sign of the young ones, but that doesn’t mean that they are not in the area. Even though they are small, they look just like their parents and are very fast on their feet. They also tend to duck when told, so they hide rather well. More information to follow on that note.
I was the luckiest person alive on Thursday, for I saw a lot of interesting things. There are two Great Horned Owl babies with mama in a conifer. Also in the general vicinity was a Green Heron, and I saw some good looking Lesser Scaups. What more could I have asked for on that day?
Discussing the Game Plan
Shorebird Books to Review
Great Camera Store with Good Sales
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Friday, the Easter Bunny showed up, and I said to him, “Better late than never.” He just ignored me, and pretended like I didn’t even see him. That got me no basket, but I won’t complain. I’m just glad that he made it.
Today produced an American Goldfinch and a few Eastern Kingbirds. All in all, I considered it a wonderful week, weather aside. Between the flowers, butterflies and birds, I’m happy about everything that happened to come my way. See you next week, and happy birding!