Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday August 11, 2013
National Birding News
There is exciting news in upstate NY. Redheaded Woodpeckers have been discovered there, which is a great rarity for this part of the country. More on this can be found at
The South Polar Skua has found its way to Oklahoma City early this week and was dining on Cattle Egrets, which could well be why I had eight of them at Boomer Lake this week. They could have been simply getting out of harm’s way. More of the Oklahoma City story can be found via ABA’s Nate Swick’s coverage here:
Since 1992, reproductive success for the Common Loon has been falling. Canada has 95% of these birds breed there, so it appears that the weight of the solution to pollutants will be falling on their shoulders. For more on this story, Canadian residents will want to peruse this article via Surfbirds.com:
South Polar Skua vs. Oklahoma's Cattle Egret
As the picture becomes complete with the arrival of the South Polar Skua, are the lives of the Cattle Egret threatened here in Oklahoma? We won’t be able to answer that for certain, until more information comes in through Oklahoma City news regarding the South Polar Skua. I had a group of eight at Boomer Lake last week, which certainly surprised me, as the most that I had ever seen in the area was three, and that was during this past winter. This activity surely raises my eyebrows and I will be looking forward to more information, as I’m sure that many other Oklahoma residents will be, too. These little herons follow tractors, cattle, and horses to dine on insects that are stirred up, many of which are detrimental to farming practices. Since these birds generally prefer being in high grass than around water, if they return to the fields, will the skua follow?
Forster’s Tern has been in the area for the past ten days, which shows me that more migration is underway. There have been very few terns, and it appears that the larger groups are not ready to leave the north yet, but movement is definitely on its way.
2013 Birds for the Year
There haven’t been nearly the numbers of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets that I expected this year. Where have they been hiding themselves? Are more of them up north or down south? Also, the American White Pelicans disappeared from view, too. What has happened to birding this year? Many other people from all over the country have also been reporting missing birds as well as some odd arrivals. There have been a large number of Baltimore Orioles that settled here in central Oklahoma, as well as Eastern Kingbirds, but the Western Kingbird was nearly non-existent. I saw one pair on the lake in early summer, but they just disappeared. Perhaps Boomer Lake was not to their liking this time around. Also, I did not find one American Robin nestling. It also appears that the robins have retreated to area neighborhoods for the season, as well.
During first light today, a Brown Thrasher was perched on top of a tree, which made a wonderful photo opportunity. And wouldn’t you just know it, I also caught this bird leaving the area, too. What luck. As far as I know, the immature is still in the area with its family, but I just didn’t locate it this week.
Less Red-winged Blackbirds
The Red-winged Blackbird population was as large as ever the first part of this week, but I noticed that numbers are also lessening. Perhaps we are in for an early winter, but I believe that time will answer that question.
American Coots are Returning
There was one American Coot on the lake on Friday, so it appears that their return for the fall season is also imminent.
What is Happening Where You Are?
Any other odd happenings in your part of the country and around the world? My understanding is that the southwest still has plenty of hummingbirds, but I saw none for 2013 here. There is a beautiful trumpet vine cluster that they always seem to cluster in and around, just behind the eastern lakeside Purple Martin house, but there has been no activity to my knowledge.
Caution--Water Bottle Retaining Rings
From a friend in Maine, I’d like to pass on a little bird protection suggestion to all of you, especially those of you that happen to be hosts of water birds. Many of the water/juice/soda bottles have thick rings with sharp ridges on them when the seal is broken. These have been becoming rather prevalent around the necks of dead birds in some regions. Basically, birds have been starving to dead due to these sharp rings, which will actually become imbedded in their necks, preventing food from going down their throats. Starving is a very slow and painful demise. If you purchase any of these items, please remember to cut the retaining rings in half that separate the cap on your drinks. You can even transfer your favorite drinks to glass or aluminum bottles. Our feathered friends will thank you for your consideration. Thanks, Hawk, for including this information on your Timeline on Facebook.
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake With Deb, Sunday August 12, 2012
Come join me to see what happened this week and take a look at some unusual photos.
Deb Hirt's Photography Blog
This is about all that I have to report this week. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and we’ll visit again next week.
© 2013 Deb Hirt