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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 21, 2013

Updated on April 26, 2013
Great-tailed Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle | Source

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.

Turkey Vulture Riding Thermal Updrafts
Turkey Vulture Riding Thermal Updrafts | Source

Turkey Vulture

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.

Forster's Tern
Forster's Tern | Source
Laughing Gull
Laughing Gull | Source
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull | Source

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.

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers

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.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle | Source

Bald Eagle

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.

Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup | Source
Ruddy Duck Pair
Ruddy Duck Pair | Source
Female Bufflehead
Female Bufflehead | Source

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.

Canada Goslings
Canada Goslings | Source
Source

Canada Geese

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.

Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal | Source
Male Brown Headed Cowbird
Male Brown Headed Cowbird | Source
Mallard Drake Bathing
Mallard Drake Bathing
Log Full of Red Eared Sliders
Log Full of Red Eared Sliders | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Linda, I don't do cards, but if you want to pirate, take what you think will sell. Credit it to me, and all I ask is a few of the cards every once in a while. It will help us both with getting our names out.

    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Oh, Deb, these shots are great. I love the activity and the expressions you've captured! The Turkey Vulture is wonderful...reminded me of that stirring poem by Mary Oliver; and the gosling...what a delight. Do you make cards with your images? I think it would be a blessing to many! (For an example you may see mine at www.highdesertvisions.com If you don't do your own printing and would like some, I do print some other artists' work). Pardon the "commercial" but your work is wonderful and I could see a card line :) If you have one, please share your link for your fans :) L.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, precy anza, it sounds exactly like it is laughing. Once there is a bunch of them, it sounds like a wild party. Thanks for walking around the lake.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Beautiful photos, as always and we wouldn't get tired of looking at those. :) I'm curious at the laughing gull, why is it given the name? Could I guess that it sounds like a laugh, maybe?! :D Thanks for sharing the photos with us!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for visiting, moonlake. Do you know what kind of duck you had in the tree?

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Great pictures. I was walking around the yard today looking for wildlife in the trees. I took pictures of some birds, red squirrel, a chipmunk and a duck which surprise me to see him in the tree. I enjoyed your hub and voted up. Your pictures are better than mine.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jill! There are plenty of goings-on around this lake. Sometimes it can just make one's head swim with all the bird activity, not to mention the wildflowers, the animals, and human activity, too.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      How beautiful the ducks & flycatchers are! I guess they're in their best apparel in order to attract mates. Every shot has so much personality & mood. Particularly love the goslings & the lone Grackle. Charming as always, Deb!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good deal, Chris. I am excited to hear about the birds in MT, and perhaps compare what you have around there vs. what I have here.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Awesome job as usual Deb. I agree about the Turkey Vultures. They get bad press, but when I stop and watch them in the air, it is nothing short of amazing. They have a grace in flight that even the Bald Eagle can't top.

      The adult Bonaparte's Gulls probably gets confused with the laughing gull quite a bit. I am going to make reference to your Boomer Lake Hubs in my next hub. I am doing one on the birds I've seen here on the rivers around Missoula, Montana.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, dreamseeker, for visiting the lake and seeing all the wonderful birds that are at my reach.

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      dreamseeker2 4 years ago

      Very beautiful! Awesome with wonderful photography!! : ) Had to be voted up, of course.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Anna! You are very kind, and I love having you along on the trip to the lake.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Beautiful photographs and your commentary makes it come alive.

      I loved the Gosling pictures and the Red Eared Sliders soaking up the sun. Voted up!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jackie, it takes months of being around these birds for them to get used to you. My group even follows me around. I'm only at the lake an hour a day and right now, I get ten shots a day that I feel are good enough to use. Just be patient with them, and they will stick around. Once they realize that you are not going to harm them, they will be fine.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      They are draining and working where I usually shoot that is near my trees and beautiful flowers, but maybe they will finish up soon, had hoped they would have already and have thought about branching out some. I really should, but I think you just have a gift with the birds as I do with my flower shots. An eye you might say. I have loved birds all my life but they still fly away if I come close! lol

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! A group of Laughing Gulls is a virtual DIN! I have yet to see a kite, but we have them, so it will happen sooner or later with the Mississippi Kite. Glad that you're having fun on the lake. See you again next week!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi, I would love to hear the laughing gull! lol! I never realised that there was a feather trade, such a shame, there is always some trade in animals, or animal parts. makes me so mad.

      It must be amazing to see the bald eagles, we have Kites which are pretty big, but to see an eagle must be awesome.

      and those canadian goose photos! lol! loved this, it reminded me of my river this week, our first really hot days, bliss! voted up and shared! nell

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wow, Connie, Boomer Lake is getting to be a hot spot! I love sharing everything around here and so many people are developing an interest in nature. Frankly, I think it will help in the long run to create awareness, as not enough aree caring tio save what we have. Maybe we can turn that around.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If you could do something along the lines of birds, flowers and trees, I would love to see what is in your area during the seasons for a comparison, if you get bored.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Agreed on the weather, Beckie. For a few days we had the 80's with partly cloudy shies. THEN today it is rainy and 40... and yes, the vulture is fascinating. However, I was once bitten in the knuckle by a vulture that was afraid of the medical attention that he was going to receive. I don't blame him, though.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Deb, what an enjoyable photographic journey! Loved the goslings and the turkey vulture. I agree, they are so underrated and misunderstood. I think they are extremely majestic and awesome birds. I'll never get tired of looking at your beautiful pictures--the more, the merrier! The ducks, the turtles, terns and gulls are all amazing. Voted Way Up ;) Connie

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      No story, no. Much of my poetry reflects stories I suppose. I am outside taking advantage now though so who knows? I am putting about 3000 photos out for all my friends here, well everyone, but friends are all I can tell about it. Within 2 weeks I hope. Have to get someone to do it for me.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Vultures have garnered a bat rap over the years. Where I grew up, it was very common to see these vultures swooping and soaring through the open sky. My only representation of a vulture was through The Bugs Bunny Cartoons, where they were depicted as monsters. My Dad set me straight explaining that they are hunters and surviving by instinct. I always stop what I am doing to watch them, when I am lucky enough to see one. Sorry to go on about the vulture, but I find them a fascinating breed.

      Awesome photos Deb and I agree with the bird - considering our range of weather, I am wondering the same - is it Spring or still Winter? One day it is gloriously sun-shining and warm, the next - bitter cold wind and snow squalls.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, jen! So glad that you like the Turkey Vulture, too. Many people don't give them the positive attention that they deserve. They are very bright birds, too. Perhaps a bit nervous, but once they are used to someone, they can be so friendly and sweet.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Alicia, it is amazing overall what shows up around here. So glad that you're seeing spring unfold at my favorite place.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, web923! So nice to see you. As the spring and summer progress, you'll see some amazing things out here. Even over the winter there were a number of things that I had no idea that I would ever see.

    • jenb0128 profile image

      Jennifer Bridges 4 years ago from Michigan

      Yay, a turkey vulture! That's a great shot! The TVs have recently made their way back here, too, and I'm always so glad to see them.

      I love the gosling photos, too. (All the pics are great, but those are my favorites).

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I loved seeing so many turtles in one photo! The other photos are enjoyable to look at too, as they always are. It's nice to see a new generation of bird life appear at Boomer Lake.

    • web923 profile image

      Bill Blackburn 4 years ago from Twentynine Palms, California

      I'm glad that I accepted the invitation to go on a nature walk. The pictures along with your commentary provided a great treat!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It was chilly for several days, Jackie, and I think it was actually 84 today. Are you planning a story in your area?

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      It is harder each time to choose a favorite photo or even 2 or 3, I just love them all. I hope to shoot some tomorrow. Our weather has gotten cold, and you have 70s? What is happening? lol

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      tillsontitan, so nice to see you in the middle of the country. Seriously, it takes no patience here. The birds call, I look up, and spend ten minutes with them. Really. I'm glad that you have enjoyed this column, and I hope to see you again. Thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This was simply great! Your photos are terrific and it appears your subjects are very cooperative when I know it actually takes patience and talent to get such great shots.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank YOU, Kris! There are lots of so many good birds out there, and they all look so good in the flowers and greenery.

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

      Thanks, Deb. You have another "subscriber" now . . . I can't wait to see what you will photograph next.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, yes, Martin. The size of the column has been increasing. People have been asking for more, so I have been obliging as best I can. Glad to have you back at the lake.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jim! There is so much around here, the entertainment value is remarkable. As the season progresses, I hope to get a lot more interesting experiences.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Was this an extended edition or just my grateful imagination? In any case, I thank you

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      That is surprising about the Turkey Vulture. I had no idea they were "nice." Sounds as if you had a great day, Deb. I do miss those Scissortails!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, today was in the mid-70's. I was out there in a t-shirt, so it was pretty nice. The birds were having a ball!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't think I have ever seen a turkey vulture in person. Love the shot of the turtles. I didn't think you were coming today; glad you made it. I was getting cold sitting on the lakeshore waiting for you. :)

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