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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday, July 28, 2012
Welcome back to Boomer Lake! The temperatures are sizzling and the lake is about four feet lower since the good spring rains. In some places, there is a shore that I can easily walk upon without getting my sneakers muddy, and actually shorten some of my walk due to going a bit more direct, off the beaten path(literally!) The Great Blue Heron is back in his favorite tree, and after some observation, it appears that he feels safer off the ground. He has been chased lately by Northern Mockingbirds, but doesn’t mind being among Canada Geese or Mallards. It’s just those intimidating mockers!
Mourning Dove or Collared Dove?
Today, I can show you a pictorial difference between the Mourning Dove and The Eurasian Collared Dove. Here, you can clearly see the black ring around the Collared Dove’s neck. Vocally, the call sounds opposite to a Mourning Dove.
Baby Marsh Rabbit
Finally, I got a few shots of a very young Marsh Rabbit. I am proud of myself, too, as they flee madly like the March Hare did in Alice and Wonderland. It couldn't have been more than ten feet away from me, which I considered extremely fortuitous. This little one didn’t seem to mind that I was there at all, and stuck around for a good ten minutes to eat.
The Mallards are getting their primary feathers on their wings back after a long molt. A few of them are actually airborn again, and the ducklings look more and more like their mother every day. That is actually a true statement, as all of them look like the hen(female) before their first full season.
The Northern Shovelers are now having a turn at molting, and you can see here that the male is rather dull looking. Nonetheless, he is still a rather striking bird with that wonderful bill, which helps strain a lot of good, small crustaceans from the water.
Eastern Kingbirds Are Back
The Eastern Kingbirds have chosen a favorite tree by Veteran’s Memorial, even though it is getting to be late in the season. They look so beautiful perched high on this tree during first light, which enabled me to get several sales-worthy photos.
The Purple Martins have moved from the martin house on the east side of the lake, and relinquished it to the House Sparrows. All the young ones seemed to have fledged early in the week.
The Great-Tailed Grackles still have a few young, and I had a full family in my back yard. The fledglings now resemble their parents, no more fine down tufts on their heads anymore. I still hear young ones in Grackle Tree, just off Veteran’s Memorial, but I think most of them are grown now.
Young American Robin
This young American Robin is also very close to adulthood, and if his family is not resident, he’ll be ready to fly wherever his parents decide to winter this year. Generally, it is still in the same vicinity, but not far from his birthplace.
The last time that I spotted a Pied-Billed Grebe, it was in the spring, for only one day. I just saw this grebe today, so it makes me wonder if migration is already beginning. I cannot imagine that it would be this early, but with the weather that we have been having, who knows? I’ll just have to keep a very close watch on the birds that I see from now on, and as you know, I will definitely be keeping you informed.
This is all I have for the week. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!