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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday August 25, 2013

Updated on February 5, 2014
Map of Migrating Birds
Map of Migrating Birds | Source

Field Notes

Look at the following wonderful site through Cornell Lab of Ornithology's e-Bird. Bird migration this week for the continental United States will be light to moderate in most areas. Here is a link to remarkable current information as plotted via map, as well as how to read it. Get the latest updates on what is going to be occurring in your area, as well as what recently happened. This will be invaluable information.


10,000 Birds

Here is a hot site on birding, nature, conservation, and anything at all related to the world of beauty as any naturalist will know it. Spend a little time on this site to see what is currently happening.

Learn firsthand about the adventures of birders, where they have been and where they are going, celebrations of nature, and what it is a good idea NOT to do.

May I proudly be the first to introduce you to 10,000 Birds.

Common Birds Are Declining

In just forty years according to the Audubon Society, some of the most common birds are in their steepest declines. Only WE can make a difference in the lives of our birds, as well as our immediate futures.

Birders Are We

This delightful community was the first birding site that I was invited to join on Facebook. It is a very friendly group that want to see your pictures, experience your birding joys, and hear about news relative to your area. Peruse, and you will feel immediately welcomed into the open arms of Birders Are We.

Immature Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Immature Blue-gray Gnatcatcher | Source

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

The highlight of my week was finally observing the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Prior to this, I had heard it, but never had the pleasure of meeting any until this youngster introduced him- or herself. Now mind you, some of these birds are very busy, and always on the move. It took a little doing to get this portrait, and fair warning, it is not easy.

They adore insects and larvae, and it hopes to stir up a meal by flicking its tail while rapidly moving from one part of a deciduous tree to the next. It has a thin bill, a blue-gray back, with a white underside. As you can see, even with this immature bird, it has a white eye ring, as well as a white undertail, divided in the center with a black line.

It is in much of the country, but you might just hear it and not see it. Say hello to this little sweetheart and enjoy the video:


Eastern Comma
Eastern Comma | Source

Eastern Comma

The heat has returned to the area, and the butterflies seemed to return in full force. Many were very plentiful, yet not once did I see the elusive monarch. However, I did capture this fine specimen of an eastern comma. It took me a while, but I had been hoping to get a definitive shot of this beauty, and this one permitted just that, several times.

American Coot
American Coot | Source

American Coot

There is still only one American Coot on Boomer Lake, but before I know it, others will join this one. In the meantime, it has been keeping company with the Mallards and has been welcomed into their open wings. My understanding is that they tend to breed in much of the eastern U.S.

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

The Heron Clan

Even though there have not been a lot of them over the summer, Great Egret has been holding down the fort with Great Blue Heron. Green Heron never managed to visit Boomer Lake, to my knowledge, but earlier in the spring, we had hosted Black-crowned Night Heron, and the lovely Yellow-crowned Night Heron was at Teal Ridge.

Perhaps Green Heron will come to visit next year.

Birding Magazine

Mallard Stretching
Mallard Stretching | Source

Mallards

Our residents are still caring for young, completing their molting for fall migration, and just enjoying the lake in general. It has been a relatively stable summer, but not a great deal of birds to show for it. Many have already left and begun settling elsewhere.


American Robins

The American Robins have been off the lake for a couple of weeks, but most never travel far, only heading into nearby neighborhoods. They will receive plenty of sustenance there, and many of the first years are looking more like adults every day.

This has been a pleasant year thus far, and next season will be ushering in migrants, some of which I hope to be able to capture for you.

In the meantime, keep your head in the clouds and your eyes to the ground. Happy birding to one and all.

How to Help Wildlife

Hazards
How to Dispose of Item
Harm It Can Case
fishing line
Use Trash Receptacles or take home
Strangulation/Limb Amputation
plastic rings from bottles
Cut in Half before disposal
Strangulation/Inability to Eat
plastic bags
Don't leave loose outdoors
Can be Ingested
Please Pass This Information On to Everyone That You Know
Source
Immature European Starling
Immature European Starling | Source
Exploded Thistles
Exploded Thistles | Source
Backlit Spider Web
Backlit Spider Web | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mondi, those are hard sell items.

    • profile image

      Mondi 2 years ago

      Bev,I am sorry to tell you that your 4'6 flat bed-spring has little or no meotnary value or a market place. They were an inexpensive widely sold type of spring popular between the two great wars and for a few years into the fifties. They are not more than a metal hammock with no support in the middle, but they do last forever, and maybe, just maybe, provide a less hospitable home to vermin than an upholstered box spring.Marshall Coyle

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, skin-care-natural. Sorry that I didn't reply to your comment. You were filed under spam, and I just learned about the category a short time ago.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, so many people feel that they have to flash birds in flight, but I don't. My camera is good enough to do what I need it to do. Maybe a hummer is different, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      They would be camera shy if you were using a flash Deb. ;-) They would just scatter - at least most of them would.

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, The Examiner-1! Glad that you enjoyed this one, too. I hae so much fun watching the goings-on of the birds at the lake. Some of them aren't too camera shy, either.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      You have done it again Deb! I loved the entire Hub, and the shot of the duck on the branch looking into the water reminded me of the Green Heron when it was fishing. :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Peg! I was delighted when I found that map. It sure tells us a great deal about what happens overnight, which is when most of the migrations occur.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      As always: informative, beautiful and now with improved migration charting! Another great one.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Audrey! Thanks so much. I have been doing these weekly for over a year now, and they have been fun to write and well as photograph for.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Really a gorgeous article!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy! Glad that you had the time to come by.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful as always Deb.

      Eddy.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Meldz! They are neat little birds, related to Moorhens, if you know them. Thanks for dropping in.

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      ignugent17 3 years ago

      It is my first time to see an American coot. Thanks for the information. :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks as always, Eddy. Your support means a great deal to me.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, D.A.L.! Thanks for the heads up on the British Trust for Ornithology. I will be taking a look at that and see what I can glean for up-to-date information for British citizens.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! I thought that Field Notes might catch on, as there are so many people from around the world that read this column. I want to include material from different parts of the globe, so that everyone can get a taste of what is occurring in different regions.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another great hub Deb;voted up and shared. Here's wishing you a great day.

      Eddy.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 3 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb, the sight you have highlighted is a must , I would think for every birder, especially those who reside in America. Over here we have the British Trust for Ornithology , a site I turn to for many facts and latest conservation,migration and breeding data. Loved the Blue-gray gnat-catcher { love the name too} and as usual your photography was excellent. Never fail to be impressed when I visit your work. Voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the bird news and the links that you are including in your Boomer Lake reports now, Deb. Of course, I enjoy the photos and descriptions of the local birds, too.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      I have read a couple of your poems which were excellent, when I first discovered you here on Hubpages.

      Good idea. I will read some more when I get the chance :)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, I know, Suhail, people get busy with their lives and thins happen. Not to worry. Can the city put another trash bin in the area where you picked up all that trash? Gosh, that was so nice of you to do that. I pick up trash at Boomer Lake quite often, but most of the people there tae pride in the environment. People always stop me quite a bit to chat about birds, though, and I mention trash and other environmental issues, so I know that they are picking up trash, too. It really is a nice community here, and many of the kids have an interest in birds. One little girl's father teaches at Oklahoma State University, I think about butterflies, so we have chatted several times. It really shows how much people care about the birds here that live in the area.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Deb,

      Because of one of your previous articles, I have started collecting trash at nature sites during my hikes with K2 and properly disposing that of. Yesterday, I was at a naturalized site for observing river birds and I saw scores of soft and hard drink cans and bottles scattered all around the foliage. Who are these dimwits doing this I kept on thinking. Then I tied K2 to a nearby tree and started collecting the trash. One full large size polythene garbage bag is what I got in the end, which I had to dispose of only 200 yards away in a garbage disposal area provided by our municipality.

      I took some pictures also. I will shortly be filing a report with our municipality, which is the most environmental friendly municipality I have seen in my life. But what can one do when we have a minority (and invisible) moronic population around out to spoil natural beauty?

      This article was also written in the same vein of nature conservation and I liked it immensely.

      Btw, I may have missed some articles you wrote in last few weeks. You may be aware that I was hiking like crazy both during day and night times with K2 during the last two weeks.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Anna, I am so happy that you're enjoying Boomer Lake. If you want to get to know me better, read my creative writing. There is a piece of me in every story.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      I feel like I got to know you better this week. Somehow you have managed to relay all this infomation and the great pictures and even to also share a bit of yourself. I suppose it is because you are so passionate about it, the words seems to be almost audible.

      Excellent job. For me the spider's web was just stunning and a favourite.

      Anna

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Sharkye! Hopefully, the monarchs will venture a little more northerly next year. Perhaps all the rain kept them away, as we had quite a bit here. I am still trying to find a live armadillo and see a roadrunner...

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Another captivating entry! I love that gorgeous photo of the spiderweb. That just seems to bring a sense of tranquility to your nature hub. The monarchs are all down here, by the way. I have dozens. But haven't seen a comma all year. Happy to finally see one, even if it is in your photo!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Imogen, you are so welcome. With my field notes, I am hoping to include all parts of the world, here-and-there, plus any other juicy little tidbits that I can find. Glad to see you at the lake, and ya'll come back now, ya hear?

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mel! Glad to see you, as always, and hear about the birds that you have seen. If you ever come to this area for birding, let me know, and I will take you around Boomer Lake.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, thelyricwriter. I have so much fun at the lake, it is like another world. Also, many times during migration, the birds will fly overnight. You might not be able to see them, but you could very well hear them. If you see clouds of birds, numbering several hundred to thousands, you are witnessing migration. Not all travel that heavily, but you'll know it when you see it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mary, really, there is NO patience required. I'm just lucky enough to get performances every time I show up. Some of these birds are old friends from last year. I just miss Green Heron...

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, skin-care-natural. I happen to be right in the middle of the Central Flyway, and this lake is a very important part of it. Thanks for seeing my birding column, and I'm so glad that you're enjoying it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Gawth, every place that got more precipitation this year increased their mosquito/black fly/gnat/no-see 'um population. You have a flycatcher, a phoebe, and the Eastern Kingbird that will help decimate those pesky things.

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 3 years ago from Southwest England

      Your pictures and descriptions are always so lovely, thanks for sharing.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Congrats on your Gnatcatcher. I've seen the Black-tailed, I think, out in the desert east of here but I am ashamed to report I have never seen our resident California Gnatcatcher. Had a possible glimpse of a pair once but not enough for a positive ID. Great report!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared. I never knew anything such as this existed, it's so cool! Very interesting and we can also learn more about them. Well done:)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      As always so much fun to read. I feel like I'm on Boomer Lake. I have to say all your pictures are beautiful but my favorite is the Mallard stretching! God bless you for your patience in getting this wonderful shots.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • skin-care-natural profile image

      Clara Myers 3 years ago from USA, East Coast

      Must be a healthy environment to support so much wildlife. Stunning images.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 3 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      hooray for the gnat catcher! May he relocate here! This has been a horrible years for gnats and mosquitoes.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Theresa, top o' the morning to you! Investigate that tree, as you have planned, and you will see some wonderful and enchanting littles that will make you smile. I guarantee it! The map will be good for both fall and spring migrations, but likely will not be available for the rest of the year. It will teach you what happens, and will even get to the point that you cannot keep up with the species. It will give you knowledge on what to prepare for(incoming/outgoing birds), so you can tell what you need to have available for the birds. Don't forget the water, especially!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Morning Deb. What an amazing map and what a useful resource for birders everywhere. I guess as a historian I am always concerned about and interested in "resources." :) Lovely photographs as always and your descriptive prose is excellent. Great hub, as always.

      I think I may have mentioned that there is this one big tree that many many birds stop at as they fly across the large cleared pasture in front of the little lake house. Its too far away to make out the small birds, but my eldest will be bringing his binoculars next time so we can sit on the front porch and get a better view. Have a wonderful week. Theresa

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Deergha! It is always good to see you and bring the joys of my life to you. I would really love to see what you have in Assam province, especially the peacock, and commune a bit with them.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Martin! Glad that you like it, as it allows me to share a piece of my life the best way that I can.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, Faith Reaper, learning a bit about each other never hurts!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Billy, it is spreading, and rather well, I might add. The column celebrates nature and everything set up to improve it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, whonu! Thanks as always for being here throughout the growth of this series.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      I really loved the picture of the immature Blue-gray Gnatcatcher....and even the Mallard Stretching.....Its really lovely to know about the surrounding you are there in this time of the year....its like waiting to know whole time for Mondays to read this exclusive hub here...thank you very much dear for sharing your wonderful experiences with us, God bless you...sharing and votes way up:-)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Just love this; as ever.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks for another beautiful and interesting hub here of life on Boomer Lake. Love your photos! They are all stunning. I tell Jackie that same thing about writing a story about her chickens. LOL It would be delightful.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There is much growth and renewal at Boomer Lake, included in the writer of this fine series. Well done, Deb! The message is spreading with each fine installment of this series.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Well done and well received my friend. Nice photos. whonu

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jackie! Many birds catch mosquitoes, and they are the best kind of bird in my book. Love the names for your chickies. You'll have to tell us all about them in a story.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Show me a picture of a mosquito catcher! Please! I want to start breeding them! lol I have three hens now and I love to watch them stretching and trying to roost on lop sided branches and you name it. They remind me of the three stooges so think I will name them Mary, Girly and Jo. Love your pictures and web picture, I can never get those in the right light. ^

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I thought it would be fun for people that wanted to track migrants.

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      jeannie dibble 3 years ago

      great starting with the map...keep doing that!