Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday April 29, 2012
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.
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.
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.
Great Horned Owl Information and Photos
- Baby Raptor Renesting with Owlets
Have you ever seen a baby Great Horned Owl? Want to know how they get put back into their nest if they have fallen out? Here are the answers by an experienced volunteer rehabilitator.