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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday August 18, 2013

Updated on August 18, 2013
Blue-footed Booby
Blue-footed Booby | Source

Worldwide Birding News

Why do there seem to be more woodpeckers around this year? See what Cornell University, the U.S. Forest Service, and a few other key people learned in the Detroit, Michigan area regarding the emerald ash borer, a destructive insect.

Blue-footed Booby Inland?

The Blue-footed Booby in Arizona and New Mexico? What gives that we have pelagic tropical birds inland now? These sightings come directly from the American Birding Association, and it is a great surprise that these birds are seen in the inland states in the U.S.:

African Birding Hot Spots

If one is planning a trip to Africa, there are many hot spots for birds, mammals, butterflies, and everything else natural. Take a walk on the wild side where you can find some of the rarest birds in one area near Cape Town's Hout Bay:

Hen Harriers

Hen Harriers could well be on the brink of extinction in England, which would be some very bad news in this area. What caused the nest failure this year? If you are a birder in Great Britain, you'll be interested in this:

Have You Ever Seen a Pelagic(Sea) Bird?

See results
Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

Great Egrets

There were not nearly as many Great Egrets this year as I had hoped, considering that I had seen as much as six or eight in one spot last year. This season, we were fortunate to have three on Boomer Lake, two of them regulars. Seasonal affectation seemed to bother these birds a great deal, but I was fortunate enough last month to see a gorgeous breeding male with his long, pure white strands of feathers trailing behind him in the breeze, and what a striking site it was. However, I am not going to complain about this gorgeous specimen.

Male Northern Cardinal in the Protection of the Woods
Male Northern Cardinal in the Protection of the Woods | Source

Northern Cardinal

This month, these beauties have been more than plentiful. The delightful Northern Cardinal always has that cheery sound, and is getting ready to usher in the cooler months as they approach. Nesting is done for the season, but I was not fortunate enough to see any young ones, though I do believe that I knew that there was one active nest. Sadly, it was in the woods at the northern part of the lake, but I was not able to get to the area with my camera rig, and certainly not high enough to even hope to see any fledglings. However, I hope to see them more frequently this winter, and perhaps I can obtain a shot or two of that deep red within the white border of snow. Wish me luck!

Marsh Rat
Marsh Rat | Source

Marsh Rat

There are some people out there that hear the word "rat," and they are out of the area faster than the blink of an eye. I was out Saturday morning, and what did I spy, but this sweet little one feeding on some grass seed. It had no fear of me, or anyone else, for that matter, and I managed to get this darling and delicate little pose. Even though you might not like rats, isn't this endearing?

Female Red-winged Blackbird
Female Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Red-winged Blackbirds

There are a few young ones still be reared by their parents, so they will most likely be the last ones out of the area for fall migration. They were also out in full force on Saturday, a beautiful morning between 67 and 75 degrees. I could not have asked for better weather, nor better view of nature. How about this shot of a female red-wing straddling a couple of immature sunflowers?

Great Blue Heron

There have been a few more Great Blue Herons around this year than the Great Egret, and they don't seem to mind humanity in their immediate area quite as much. Friday evening, several people stopped to chat and wanted to know a little about birds that they had seen, which delayed me until dusk. I happened to look again at the Great Blue Heron that I had been observing prior to the discussions, and he was silhouetted with a beautiful orange glow in the water. I just had to have that photo, which I offer to you here. Isn't this just the epitome of nature at its finest?

Great Blue Heron in Dusk's Afterglow
Great Blue Heron in Dusk's Afterglow | Source

Bobcat Sightings

Within the past year, a couple of bobcats have been seen. One was on the west side of the lake and the other at the far eastern corner in the woods off Husband Street, not far from the old book bindery. Perhaps I can go on the outskirts of the woods by the railroad tracks and see if I can see or hear anything related to bobcat.

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove | Source

Mourning Doves

These sweet and gentle doves have been on the ground more, since the weather turned cooler and have been around the cypress trees more, which allows me some wonderful photo opportunities. This shot was taken early morning, and you can see a lovely shadow cast on this, which is one of my favorites. Even though this is a common bird, I consider it somewhat striking, as well as beautiful.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

Northern Mockingbird

My days are never complete without my favorite little mockingbird. This one simply adores being photographed, and will even pose, and fly off at request. But by the same token, he always returns, too. This remarkable little soul always puts a smile on my face, and I'm sure he is rather amused with me, as well.

Eastern Kingbirds
Eastern Kingbirds | Source

Eastern Kingbirds

The tyrant birds have been in full force all over the east side of the lake. They take great pleasure in chasing each other, as well as the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. I do believe that many of these are immature males, having nothing better to do than assert their self-proclaimed authority. Not only that, boredom tends to set in easily with them. Here's a bit of trivia for you: the adults have a red crown right at the top of the head that is occasional seen, but it is very rare.

Our journey must come to an end, but we will meet again next week and see what area residents spend time with us. In the meantime, keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and may you all get to further your life lists in the near future.

Boomer Lake Park

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight | Source
Eastern Kingbird in Flight
Eastern Kingbird in Flight | Source
Mallard and American Coot(Right)
Mallard and American Coot(Right) | Source
Tawny Emperor
Tawny Emperor | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      precy anza, what you did for the caged rat shows your love and compassion for animals. Teach your father that starving anything is a slow and cruel death. Glad to see you again and hope that al is well.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      5 years ago from USA

      Aww..... Come here little fella :) Let me shake your, tiny, little feet ^_^' Hi there Avian, I'm talking to the rat. I like rats! Back in the Philippines, there are times we would find rat nest around the house, dad doesn't like it but somehow I find the young ones cute! And here on our current place, dad caught one big rat in the garage and he had it on a cage, planning to starve it. Weeks passed and one day dad caught me feeding the rat :D Then the rat came to know me, would even eat while I watch him. So dad just decided to release it in the jogging trail. Been over 2 years ago, hope he survived in there :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Meldz! The cardinals seem to be regional this year, especially in the north. I love the little Mourning Doves, they have such a sweetness about them. Woodpeckers seem to have more borers to feed on this year, which is why they tend to be more prevalent, according to a suds. Glad to see you again, and have a GREAT fall migration!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your birds always amazes me. I also notice the woodpeckers are more visible this year than last year. Morning Doves are also all over our place. Cardinal are not showing too much this year.

      Thanks for your wonderful pictures. :-)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Colin, it is good to see you and the Cat Kids, once again. I really liked seeing the migratory map and the routes of the different birds. It is such an amazing journey for our wonderful birds. Thanks for sharing with everyone, as always, and may our birds get the best of care on their respective journeys.

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      Good afternoon Deb from Colin and his cat crew and I am wondering what you thought of the Hitchcock film The Birds if and when you first saw it.

      Once again, my kindred spirit of all things in nature beautiful, you took me away to another world here and I've never seen so many birds in my life, lol, until I met you and started following this series.

      Lovely stretch of summer weather we've had here by the lake for the last 3 weeks with all sun and no rain.

      I will enlighten the people on my FB trail with a post and a link here and send to you my good thoughts and a high five from two human hands and four furried paws at lake erie time 3:18pm canada

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      D.A.L., I do love the natural world, and will always take the time to ponder something unusual. Perhaps I just never grew up...

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I understand that skepticism, Gawth. This booby is a pelagic bird. I'll never forget dealing with a Razorbill, another pelac bird. Either they love a human, or they hate them, for they are not used to seeing them. The Razorbill was adorable, and loved people. He would turn toward the sound of voices, and loved his attention. Sadly, he died of aspergillosis, but I will never forget him.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Another enjoyable foray for me to your part of the world. You have certainly mastered the tricky art of capturing your birds in flight. Beautiful foray which is always pleasurable. Thank you.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 

      6 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      A great session! Always good to spend time with you. Forgive my skepticism about the Blue-Footed Booby. I guess I can be compared to the old land-locked farmer who celebrated his 75th birthday at a large zoo.

      When he saw a giraffe for the first time, he shook his head and said: "Nah, they're ain't no such animal."

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      All RIGHT, Mary! So glad to hear that you're going to be out there doing some photography. It soothes the mind, the soul, and just the inner beast in general.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Another great visit to Boomer Lake. The Blue Footed Booby is amazing...never seen or heard of one! Yes, the little Marsh Rat is adorable I have to admit.

      Looks like some brown feathers mixed in with the red on the cardinal? Here the male is bright red and the female mousy brown so I'm surprised at this one.

      As always Deb your photos are magnificent.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

      P.S. I just ordered a Cannon Rebel and can't wait to get it!

    • profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      6 years ago


      Yes I will come to the lake as often as I can it sounds wonderful!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy! As you know, there is always something for everyone at Boomer Lake.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia. All of our creatures are SO priceless and so beautiful. Every time I see one, I smile, which means I smile a great deal.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Truthfornow, the little rat is a darling, no doubt. Yes, there are surprising and wonderful birds out there that the world needs to see. That way, we will think twice and care for them better once we know what we could lose.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Leslie! Your wit is impeccable and your inner soul really needs to be discovered by more. But then again, you have something to do with that. There are many great and wonderful birds that the world has to offer. THAT is my calling for the very near future.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant as always Deb. Your wonderful hubs never disappoint and here's wishing you a great day too.


    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another interesting and beautiful hub, Deb. The rat is definitely endearing!

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Those bright blue feet are something! I love that marsh rat. Looks like he was striking a pose just for you.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      lol..the one bird i recognized you say is endangered! is it possible that because i'm in canada there are more northern cardinals?

      I WANT A BOOBY! I used to want TWO, but suddenly - i bloomed! lol..

      no matter that i was past 50 at the time. Better late than never, yes?


      anyways - that is one ODD looking avian!

      love you dear!

      sharing onxx

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, suziecat! Glad that you like them. Can't wait to see what I can find this week.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell. I like looking up the national and world news now. It gives me a better idea of where we stand in the world, which is somewhat related to my story on global warming. It only proves it more.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Wonderful photos - thanks so much.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      This is awesome as usual. I love the way you did the layout, now to the info and photos, wonderful! lol! voted up and shared, nell

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Kevin! You'll have to come to the lake more often just to see who's out there.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      6 years ago

      I kept reminding myself that I would read one of Boomer Lake's Hubs and I thought that it was awesome! Good photos too.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Kim! Congrats on the cardinals, which I am sure that you enjoyed immensely. Nothing like having a nest at home.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The only pelagics that I had seen were when I volunteered at Tri-State Bird Rescue in DE. My favorite was the razorbill, and this one was adorable. He loved people and his bath!

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 

      6 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Deb, this is wonderful as usual. I love your pictures. I was lucky enough to have a pair of cardinals nest in a thicket vine that grew up our fence around the deck last year. It was beautiful to watch.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      6 years ago from San Diego California

      Saw a few pelagic birds on a whale watching trip a few years ago. These included the Northern Fulmar, Cassins Auklets, and Rhino puffins. Great trip. Have you done any pelagic biding?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely, Connie, more birds are better, especially with the mosquito population in some of our rainy areas. Thanks for the kind words, and I'll see you next week.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, your images are awesome--I love the female red wing straddling the sunflowers! That rat is adorable, and the way you captured the kingbird in flight is gorgeous. I have noticed an increase in both the woodpecker and cardinal populations around here this year, which is fine with me. The more birds, the better ;) Connie

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Anna, glad that you enjoyed what I think I might begin calling "Field Notes." The Great Blue Heron is my favorite, too, for the week.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Martin, magic stays within the heart as long as we are willing to retain that spark of youth.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, Faith Reaper, the woodpeckers are not at Boomer Lake. They are in the Detroit area, so they are heading where they can locate better food sources for themselves. Glad that you stopped by and found the notables of interest to you. See you again next week...

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Very interesting and the addition of the further afield news was a bonus. I loved the dusk photograph of the Great Blue Heron and who could resist the Marsh Rat.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Another work of magic. thank you

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you for sharing about all of the wonderful life at Boomer Lake here with us all. Your photography is amazing. Funny thing that you mentioned there being more woodpeckers around Boomer Lake this year, as they must have migrated there from my area, as each year I would sit on my front porch and see a redheaded woodpecker right there in front of me, just pecking away. I have not seen one in about two years here.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. I had a thought that it might be well received, as I try to find material that my readers can identify with.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jackie! I think the birds are stymied, if you want to know the truth, but they act purely on instinct. BUT when you have a sea bird in a landlocked area, something is very wrong. Yeah, I thought that the rat was pretty cute, too. He just wanted his breakfast.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, whonu! Glad that you liked this week's edition.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I like the worldwide birding news additions.....a very good article just got better. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have never seen a cardinal that pretty! Could the weather changes and disasters be a reason for the birds acting odd? I mean they know when snow is coming before we do!

      I do think the rat is cute and if he is nowhere near my house I will leave him alone!


    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Nice info and very nice photos my friend. well done, whonu.


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