Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 21, 2013
Extreme Weather Week
This has been an extreme week for weather, which included rain, heavy cloud cover, cold days, and some wonderful warm days. The birds are completely confused, as are their human counterparts, and they honestly don’t know if they should be dressed in summer wear, or they should head back south. But the nice things is, I have gotten my new lens into some very fine action, so I hope that you will enjoy these pictures as much as I had fun taking them.
The Turkey Vultures were taking full advantage of the updrafts on sunny days. It didn’t matter if it was chilly or not, but as long as there was a little sun and wind, they were in their element. Having done volunteer work with birds, I admired the vultures a great deal. They were some of the gentlest birds that I have ever met, with remarkably sweet dispositions.
Terns and Gulls
Forster’s Tern was on the lake this week, a very good-looking bird. This beauty is in breeding plumage, and doesn’t seem to mind the camera a bit. These birds are inland as much as they are on the ocean, but they did share space with the notorious Laughing Gull, who was making more racket on the lake that I have ever heard. The Laughing Gull certainly cannot be mistaken. And here’s a bit of trivia for you: this gull was threatened by the feather trade in the early twentieth century. I also noticed the juvenile Bonaparte’s Gull, and was lucky enough to see this one foraging. It happened to come up with this fish while I was watching, so here’s a shot of that for you. This bird happens to be one of the smallest gulls in North America.
The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are choosing mates, and have been doing some wonderful feats of aerial acuity, while prospecting for mates. Their flight is extreme showmanship and great beauty, especially with that orange flash in the side of the bird. The tail behaves quite like a rudder, and the twists and turns are remarkable. Thus far, I haven’t been able to get any shots of this beautiful and remarkable mating ritual, but I hope that this photo of two of them together will put me in good stead.
The Bald Eagle was out on one of the cloudiest days, and I just happened to be in the area to pick this up for you. This majestic bird can soar like nobody’s business, and those sharp eyes can spot a fish, grab it, and be on its way in less than a minute before that fish even realizes that it is no longer in the water.
Ducks are Settling In
The Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, and Ruddy Ducks appear to be settling on the lake, and perhaps even for the season. The ruddys are now in breeding plumage, and have been looking for potential mates, as well. Here is a lovely couple that have been hanging around the grass and cattails on the east side of the lake, so there is an excellent chance that there might be a nest.
There are a couple of sets of Canada goslings! Here is a shot of some of the 2013 first family. The parentage are seasoned geese, which had been banded on the lake a few years ago. Some of the population had been removed then, I am told. I saw a couple of people on Goose Island this afternoon, but don’t know what their intentions are. They could have been removing eggs, but I won’t swear to that, until I make a call to the city and see if they know anything about this intrusion.
This week was very hard for me to choose photographs, as I have so many workable ones. I’m submitting a couple of extras this week, and hope that you won’t get tired of looking at them. I don’t have anything else to report this week, so I will talk to you again next week. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and enjoy your spring.
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday April 21, 2012
This week's hub is about songbirds, shorebirds, and owls. Lots of wonderful pictures guaranteed to make your birding experiences more enjoyable.