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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday April 21, 2012

Updated on November 30, 2012
Pied-Billed Grebe
Pied-Billed Grebe | Source


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…

American Avocet
American Avocet | Source

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.

Forster's Tern
Forster's Tern | Source

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.

Great Horned Owl with One baby
Great Horned Owl with One baby | Source
Green Heron
Green Heron | Source

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

Lesser Scaups
Lesser Scaups | Source

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!


American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch | Source
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird | Source


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Annie, glad that you enjoyed this hub. Perhaps next week, I will show some nice butterflies. They started coming in a short time ago, and have some great colors.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Oh aviannovice, you must have been so excited having these disorientated birds fly in. I can feel your excitement and love your story and photos. You are so lucky to be able to get close enough. The ducks are deep in conversation, hey!!!

      I love the colours and markings of the Avocet, a very graceful and proud looking bird!! Thank you so much for sharing your contagious excitment!! A very lovely hub. My best wishes, votes and sharing!!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, kashmir. I love doing this kind of hub and letting people see what kind of great wildlife we have out there. Hope to see you again next week.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi aviannovice,thanks for writing this beautifully written hub i have enjoyed reading it. And love all the awesome photos. Great job !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      clairemy, what a lively compliment! Now I am about to get MY coffee! Have a superb and productive day!

    • clairemy profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful hub, and lovely photos. Voted up and beautiful. Lovely way to start the day, reading this with my morning coffee.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, gamby. Don't forget, there's always SOMETHING going on at Boomer Lake!

    • gamby79 profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful. Beautiful pic of the goldfinch! As always I voted up, up, up, up, up...well you get the

      Always looking forward to your next update!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, JKenny. I was out and about a couple of weeks ago, I'd been worrying a Great Blue Heron with assorted photo shoots. He flew off, and landed near a pair of Canada Geese. The male sent him on his way!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, they are, hyphenbird. They are always entertaining me!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Great hub, aviannovice. It always amazes me looking a North American birds, how similar they are to their European counterparts. We have Canada geese in Britain, and a lot of people don't like them, because they're not native. But personally I love hearing them honk as they fly overhead. Great stuff. Voted up and shared.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This is a beautfiful Hub. I enjoyed it very much. Today I was pulling ivy from high on a neibor's house and saw a robin's nest with 3 lovely eggs. Birds are amazing.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Joyce. It is so much fun to wander to the lake everyday to see what new surprises I can find.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      You really are a luck lady to live in your area and enjoy all the birds. Love the photo's especially of the owls and ducks but they are all great.

      I'm looking forward to next weeks hub.

      Voted up and awesome, Joyce.


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