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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 29, 2012

Updated on November 21, 2012
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret | Source

This has been another full and productive week with a host of additional birds and butterflies. The spring flowers have also been blooming, and just in case you haven’t seen what we have here at Boomer Lake, the colors are simply vibrant. There have been a couple of inordinately windy days, with gusts from 30-45 mph, and I had nearly all I could do to hold onto my camera. You can just imagine what some of these birds were trying to do to keep from being blown away.

On Monday, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pair of Cattle Egrets at the northern jetty just below Goose Island. These birds walk the walk and have quite a strut, like something that you would have seen on a disco floor in the 70’s. They were actually in the midst of some Canada Geese and had my eyes not been peeled, I would have missed them. As it was, I caught them just before they were about to fly off. Additionally, I was also lucky enough to be able to catch both Barn and Cave Swallows at rest. These birds always seem to be in flight and I caught a rare moment where I could actually see those beautiful colors and appreciate them for a few moments, instead of a fast blaze in front of my eyes.

Cave Swallow
Cave Swallow | Source
Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow | Source

On Thursday, I saw the first Mallard ducklings. The parents have two of them and they got to swim quite a bit by the central jetty near Veteran’s Memorial. There are a few more nesting pairs of Mallards, so I’m almost certain that there will be more ducklings by the end of next week. There have been a few Laughing Gulls just south of Goose Island, one of which seems to have found a good friendship with a Mallard Drake. The two of them have been seen swimming around together as well as catching some sun on logs.

Those violent wind gusts came up Thursday afternoon. Waves were crashing on the northern jetty and the sea birds were holding fast onto whatever they happened to be perched on. I expected to see some new stragglers on Friday after those high winds, but that wasn’t the case. All goslings made it through the impetus, and the goose nesting on the mainland is still doing well.

Saturday, I noticed a water snake, and one Red Shouldered Hawk that has been around for the past few days was being shadowed by a sentry Red-Winged Blackbird. No matter where this hawk tried to hunt for himself, he wasn’t left in peace for a moment. The blackbird took it upon himself to raise an alarm for all the small area birds’ safety. I might add that he did a good job for the birds, but there were a few mice that weren’t quite so fortunate.

Our first Mallard ducklings on April 26!
Our first Mallard ducklings on April 26! | Source
BFF:  Mallard Drake and Laughing Gul
BFF: Mallard Drake and Laughing Gul | Source
Red shouldered Hawk being harassed by Red Winged Blackbird
Red shouldered Hawk being harassed by Red Winged Blackbird | Source

On Sunday, I came across a Baltimore Oriole in the general area and near there was also a beautiful marsh rabbit. We have a pair of our own at the lake that have taken up residence. There are also two beautiful Great Horned Owlets and their mother sharing a nest in a pine tree overlooking a pond, so they are in a good neighborhood. If you'd like to learn about owls, peruse my hub on renesting baby raptors. This has been included below for your reading pleasure. There were also several Turkey Vultures that had been dining upon raccoon carrion. At Sanborn Lake, a number of box turtles were also observed, a young raccoon also stopped by to say hello, and a rather large water moccasin was napping in some tall grass. I happened to get a quick photo of him and went for higher ground.

As you can see, the week was good for wildlife and birds, and as we begin to move further into spring, there should be a number of sea and shore birds that will come through the area along the Central Flyway. Songbirds should be on the increase, as well. Butterfly migration has been fairly steady, as are numerous hatchings in our own area that have been on the rise. Overall, we are in for an exciting summer at Boomer Lake, so happy birding to all.

Raccoon | Source
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture | Source


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Ann! I do love my birds...enjoy my weeklies.

    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      wonderful - I've just discovered you so will now be an eager follower - voted up and stuff.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Cindy, I'm glad that you liked the story. A lot of these photos just fell into place for me, which worked out well, so I can give the reader the best that I can find. Thanks for reading!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      It's really cool how you can identify all these birds. I love the photos you added to this hub - they're great! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Really, Sparrowlet? I have LOADS of pictures. They are everywhere here and very gregarious. Mine love to be photographed.

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh, I love red winged blackbirds! Haven't seen one in a few yrs.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I appreciate what you have said, Joyce. Doing these hubs is such a fun way to educate people about our wildlife and enjoy them from the armchair.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub, I love reading all about the ducks and birds. You for took fabulous photo's and the racoon seemed to posing for you. Vote up and awesome, Joyce.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, summerberrie. It was an enjoyable one.

    • profile image

      summerberrie 5 years ago

      Enjoyed reading about your weekend!