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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 28th, 2013

Updated on April 28, 2013
Forster's Tern
Forster's Tern | Source

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.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers

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.

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow | Source

White-crowned Sparrow

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.

American Avocets
American Avocets | Source
Source

American Avocets

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
Black-crowned Night Heron | Source

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?

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow | Source

Savannah Sparrow

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 and Red Eared Slider
Forster's Tern and Red Eared Slider | Source

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.

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird | Source

Western Kingbird

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
Northern Mockingbird | Source

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 in Flight
Great Blue Heron in Flight | Source

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.

Franklin's Gull(with black hood) among Ring-billed Gulls
Franklin's Gull(with black hood) among Ring-billed Gulls | Source

Franklin's Gull

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!

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source
American Avocet Bathing
American Avocet Bathing | Source
Female Red-winged Blackbird
Female Red-winged Blackbird | Source
Female Cowbird
Female Cowbird | Source

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

      Beckie, it's always good to have you at the lake to see my lovely little wonders. I'll bet that you have great birds in your area, too.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      First of all - congratulations on the American Avocets sightings. What a fantastic way to kick off the season. Your photos with accompanying descriptions bring your slice of heaven alive for the reader. This is my favorite time of year and I truly enjoyed submerging myself at the lake for a bit.

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

      Rebecca, I would like to do that when I get better. I still don't know the camera well enough yet, but it's coming along.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These photos are terrific! You should work for National Geographic!

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

      Hey, precy anza! The walk wouldn't be complete without you. Glad that you were there to join in all the fun and antics.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego

      Loved this weeks walk with you on the lake. :) Just like Bill there are some featured here I haven't seen before. :) And look at that long beak of the American avocet! Beautiful ^-^' Thanks for bringing us along with you!

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

      They travel thousands of miles. They were there for only a few hours with the American Avocets, so no telling what was up with that visit, other than they were tired.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Deb,

      I think American Golden Plover must have found temperatures to their usual liking that far south. They must have been able to determine that it is going to be colder than normal up north. Any other reason that you could think of? Any ecological factor?

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

      Ah yes, Teresa, they will soon be there. Some American Golden Plovers came through here on migration, so the rest are yet to follow. The world has had a tough winter, and to my understanding, there are still some 40 degree days coming here again. Today was 91 degrees F.

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful pictures Deb. Life in central Ontario is not quite as busy yet. The robins have returned but I have yet to see the swallows. I have seen cardinals in the city but here in Millbrook on our farm I never get a chance to see them at our feeders. Today is the warmest it has been in awhile, 18 celcius which feels quite warm to us northern denizens. Your pictures give me hope that my fields will be busy soon with the sounds of my returning spring friends!

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

      Hey, Anna! Thank you so much for visiting and partaking in all the joys of this segment of nature. There is a lot to learn in the natural world, and I am still doing it. I love it all.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Hi, looks like spring is coming.

      Your pictures were brilliant, your words gave them life and you are broadening my knowledge. Thankyou:)

      I loved how the Savannah Sparrow runs!

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

      Hey, Alicia! Thanks for coming! It wll be interesting to see what comes by next week in the avian world. I saw a marsh rabbit yesterday, but he fled the area so fast, I couldn't get a shot. There will be more opportunities, though.

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

      I suspect they will come a couple of weeks later, as they did here, Suhail. I also managed a few real surprises, too, like the American Golden Plover. They usually stop much further north for their rest stop before they head for the northernmost parts of Canada.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The pictures are wonderful this week, Deb! I enjoy all your Boomer Lake photographs and reports, but the photos in this hub are my favorite.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I am amazed at the beautiful pictures. Simply awesome!

      I am a winter person. I enjoy late falls, winters and early springs. Those seasons also tell you which birds are going to stay behind and be classified as resident species of Ontario. I love their loyalty.

      However, when the migrants come back, it is always a pleasant site. I am happy to see the birds in your area Deb, because I will be tracking those species that show up in southern Ontario to see the time lag.

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

      Sharkye, I haven't seen a barn owl in real life, but I am waiting, for I'm sure that I will encounter one sooner or later. BY THE WAY...I ordered some wonderful bird t-shirts from The Mountain with a 15 percent discount. The discount can be found through a search. I got a Common Loon, 11 eagles, and owls. They should be here soon!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Excellent photos! The heron in flight is particularly moving. We just saw our first Scissor-tail yesterday. We also have a male cardinal, a crow, and a barn owl who seem to have adopted our backyard.

      Great hub, and an excellent resource for identifying wild birds!

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

      Hey, Connie! Thanks for coming to the lake and seeing what wonders I have here now.

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

      Hey, Johan! Spring should be at full tilt here now, especially since the Western Kingbird is home..

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

      Lela, I enjoy the Great Blue Heron, too. They have a settlement on the north part of the lake, which one can get to if the water is low. I prefer not to disturb them, as I have many of them on the lake that are used to me.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Deb, look at those amazing Avocets! I love the mockingbird mantling; cute little Savannah Sparrow and that lovely Franklin's Gull--what a week you've had indeed! I hope it only gets better, especially since the rain has replenished your area once again. Our Great Blue Herons should be along soon. I love to catch sight of them flying silently and majestically so high in the sky. Voted Up, Interesting, Beautiful, Awesome

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      A great article with really good photos. Thanks!

    • CreatePerfection profile image

      CreatePerfection 4 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

      The pictures you include in this hub are wonderful. I have been so longing for spring. We in Colorado have had very late snows this year. It is supposed to snow again this wednesday, but we are seeing the Robins return. Yesterday, my husband Bruce and I played golf and on one of the par 3's there is a small lake with a huge tree next to it. There were 6, yes 6 Blue Herons in the tree, all building nests. What a beautiful sight. Thanks for these lovely articles, Deb. As you know I am a real bird lover, too, and it is such a treat to see the birds in your neck of the woods.

      Blessings,

      Lela

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

      Thanks, dreamseeker, but I'm still learning about this camera. One day I will really know how to use it.

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      dreamseeker2 4 years ago

      Awesome pictures! Very informative hub and useful. Wow! You are a great photographer!!! : )

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

      whonu, my pleasure. Thanks so much for coming by.

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

      summerberrie, you have got to go. If I have this much in my area, Charleston has got to be going strong on the Atlantic Flyway.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      If only in pictures, we could all speak, this would be sufficient. Thanks for the nice trip to the lake. whonu

    • profile image

      summerberrie 4 years ago

      Love those American Avocets! Have not been out on a birding outing lately. Your hub makes me want to go.

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

      dghbrh, I think it was pretty amazing, too. Wish me luck again today...

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

      Martin, it was a great week. I try to go out every day, if possible, unless the weather forces me to remain inside.

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

      Hey, Jackie! It's all about being in the right place at the right time, seriously. It really will happen to you.

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

      Hey, scribenet! You are welcome. There are so many great birds here throughout the year. I never know what I am going to find. It's so nice that you're enjoying the lake.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Just amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing. Shared and votes way up.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow! Did someone have a great day or what? Unbelievable. Thank you

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I give up! A group of bird I have never even heard of shows up and poses for you and one even does a wing show standing on one leg. Don't tell me this happens for everyone! lol You just are blessed and can't deny it! Beautiful day!

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Awesome, so many birds and such wonderful pictures! I am looking forward to seeing a blue heron that comes to my neck of the woods every summer What a wonderful assortment you have to enjoy! Thanks for sharing!

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

      Hey, Billy. Thanks for coming along to see the events of the week. Let's see what else we can get!

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

      Thanks, Jim. I was pretty impressed with the birds that I saw this week. Maybe this week coming will be just as good.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Wow, Deb, that was a great one. What a week for you! Great shots of some I have never seen for sure. Those Foster's Gulls look so unusual. I used to see Avocets a lot when I lived in San Diego. All will be glad to see this.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That might be the best one yet. The pictures are beautiful and there are a couple in there I haven't seen yet. Well done, Deb!

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