Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday August 18, 2013
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.:
- #ABArare - Blue-footed Booby - Arizona - ABA Blog
Richard Wilson found a Blue-footed Booby (Code 4) at Patagonia Lake State Park near Nogales on Aug 15. This is the first photo-documented record for southeast Arizona and the ABA Area's second in as many weeks. Last week's Blue-footed, which was in N
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:
- Where to Spot Africa's Rare Bird Species
Much is known about endangered African mammals like the black rhino, addax (white antelope), and cheetah, but what about rare bird species? There are more than
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:
- Hen Harriers on the brink of extinction in England | British Birds
For the first time since the 1960s, Hen Harriers have failed to nest successfully in England. Just two pairs attempted to nest this year in England, but both failed. At one of these sites, the RSPB was working with the landowner to ensure the nest wa
Have You Ever Seen a Pelagic(Sea) Bird?
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.
Beautiful Art Specimens!
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
Deb Hirt's Photography
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake With Deb, Sunday August 19, 2012
Just what you have been waiting for! It is this week's column and pictures by Deb Hirt. Come enjoy the fun...
© 2013 Deb Hirt