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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 28th, 2013
A Great Week
This has been an outstanding week, both for picture taking and weather quality. The birding was fabulous, and there was a number of terrific photo opportunities. This is a week that is going to be hard to beat for those of you that want to hear the latest excitement on Boomer Lake.
The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have been showing off for each other, I have been finding eggshells on the ground, including a Canada Goose egg and American Robin shell. Life is on the upswing, butterflies are coming in, and wildflowers are popping up all over the ground. I do believe that spring really is here in Oklahoma. Allow me to prove it to you.
The White-crowned Sparrow has been on the shore, permitting this wonderful photo. This one is a real beauty. As you know, there are many sparrows to try to identify, but luckily, this one is one of the easy ones. There are apparent black stripes on its white crown, a pink to yellow bill, and a pale gray throat.
Now for the important news, which is something that I have not yet seen at the lake. A flock of American Avocets greeted me Wednesday afternoon. At first, I just couldn’t believe my eyes, for there were a good seventy-five of them. Occasionally, I happen to be fortunate enough to catch a group of birds in migration, which is of course, one of the most thrilling things too a birder. Last year, I considered myself lucky to see one American Avocet.
Black-crowned Night Heron
Saturday, there was a shape in a tree, and at first I nearly missed it, but when I trained my lens on it, it was definitely some kind of bird, fast asleep. I quietly positioned myself in front of it, as it was across the Southern Cove and I was on the other side. I gently awakened it, and believe it or not, it was the gorgeous Black-crowned Night Heron. That explained why the bird was asleep, as they tend to come to life in the late afternoon. Did you notice the red eyes?
A short time later, I came across the lovely Savannah Sparrow . The spend the better part of their time on the ground, like most sparrows. But when disturbed, they will skitter away in the grass like a mouse, instead of flying away.
Forster's Tern with Red Eared Slider
The Forster’s Tern was waiting for me, so I captured him with the red eared slider. These terns like to capture insects in flight. They will also hover over water, and plunge dive for small fish. I haven’t seen this activity yet, but I’m waiting for it.
This afternoon, the Western Kingbird made an appearance. It would be nice if they use the same nest that they did last year. It is still off a telephone pole, but I did see a pair of starlings eyeing it a couple of weeks ago.
Northern Mockingbird Mantling
Here’s a picture of a Northern Mockingbird that I really enjoy. This activity is called mantling. Hawks will spread their wings out and shade their young from the bright sunshine. Some of you may have seen mockingbirds walk a few steps, spread their wings, retract them, walk a few more steps, and repeat. I have been told that they do this while hunting for bugs.
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron has also returned to the Southern Cove, which I am pleased to say is full of water once again. Life as we know it will calmly and quietly continue there, which was touch-and-go for a while, until we got enough rain to allow the cove to support life once again. I certainly can’t think of anything better for our little ecosystem right now.
This gregarious little soul is often called the Prairie Dove, sometimes seen on farmland. They will follow plows to feed on grubs and other insects. They are also not quite as noisy as the Laughing Gull. Now that I have seen so many gulls this year, it sure pays to scan the area, as one never knows what might turn up. We did have a rarity to the area from the Arctic over the winer.
Keep your eyes to the ground, and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next week. Drop me a note, and do let me know if you have noticed any more surprise birds in your respective areas. I’ll talk to you again next week, and enjoy your birds!
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 29, 2012
This week has been fruitful for both birds and animals. See what there was around this time, and enjoy yourself.