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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday January 20, 2013

Updated on February 3, 2013
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle | Source

The Big Bird Has Landed

You know, I had better activity on colder days than I did on warmer ones. If you see a large flock of gulls in the air and you’re NOT at a food source, it definitely bears watching. This is the second time that I have seen this activity at Boomer Lake, and both times, the Bald Eagle has been in the area. I managed to get this shot of one of a nesting pair late Tuesday afternoon. I have a fairly good idea on where the nest might be on the west side of the lake, but I have not had the opportunity to investigate. There could well be chicks in the nest.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher | Source

The Hover Craft

The Belted Kingfisher has been on the east side of the lake every day again this week, and she is allowing me a little closer each day. She is very vocal, so once I hear her calling, which she always does, I know exactly where to find her. Hopefully, one day very soon, I will be able to capture her hovering over the water, which has been a dream of mine. I can’t recall seeing anything quite so beautiful.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

Wind Blown Hairdo

There’s been quite a bit of wind here lately, which has been coming off the Rockies. This is a common occurrence this time of year, which makes it a bit harder to get clear pictures. How about this wind-blown Northern Mockingbird?

Ross' Goose
Ross' Goose | Source

The Ross' Geese

A pair of Ross’ Geese was amid a group of eighty or so Cackling Geese on Wednesday, another windy day, which was also cloudy. When I spotted them, at first I thought I had some large gulls, and you can bet that I was excited when I made the identification. I was able to get fairly close, but as you can see, these are quite a bit smaller than the Snow Goose, which is what I thought that I might have. These two are juveniles, their first winter. You can tell by the gray streaks on the head. Another way to differentiate this bird, is that it is missing the grinning patch of the Snow Goose. What a find! They weren’t here long, and I saw them westbound about a half hour after I spotted the group.

European Starlings
European Starlings | Source

European Starlings

Late afternoon light isn’t really too common for me, so I caught these European Starlings at that time. I do so love the shine on their feathers and the appearance of stars on their bodies. I consider them a beautiful bird, even though they are not native to this area. Did you know that if you find a nestling, you can keep it, as they have no protection in this country? You can even teach them how to talk.

Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper | Source

Spotted Sandpiper

Here’s a first winter Spotted Sandpiper. There were three of them yesterday, including a couple of adults. They are such tiny little things, I nearly missed them at first, but I saw a fleeting movement and was fortunately enough to capture this young one for you to see.

Killdeer
Killdeer | Source

Killdeer

The Killdeer have been out all winter. I have seen several good nesting spots while I have been walking closer to the lake over the winter. I have a good idea where I will see more eggs this spring, and maybe I can capture more young ones for you, too. Fortunately, the City of Stillwater will keep their mowers out of the area if nest sites are discovered.

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal was posing for me today, so I thought that I would share this shot with my cardinal fans.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal | Source

Bufflehead, Now You See Me...

Here’s a Bufflehead in the process of a dive. These are such strikingly beautiful birds, and seem to pop right out of the water when they resurface. I get the biggest chuckle out of that.

Bufflehead in a Dive
Bufflehead in a Dive | Source

This is all I have for you this week. Keep your head to the clouds and your eyes on the ground. Happy birding!

Ross' Geese
Ross' Geese | Source
Bald Eagle in Flight
Bald Eagle in Flight | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks so much, Peg. These were still pictures from the old camera. I really wish that eagle would show up now!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jaye, I must have been a bird in a past life...

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, moonlake. They are some pretty amazing creatures, aren't they?

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Fascinating birds with such great photos. I love them all but the Bald Eagle and the Cardinal really stand out. What gorgeous creatures and exceptional photography.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Loved the photos and your narrative....You live so in touch with nature. I think you need to change your writing name, as you're obviously not a "novice" at all!

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Great bird pictures enjoyed them. I love watching birds. Voted up and shared.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, precy anza! It is good to see you and receive your support. I'm pleased that you're enjoying the pictures.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Love the Kingfisher and the Cardinal! :) Such a beauty in its vibrant, red color.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I did, M, for the February 3rd edition, but it is pretty tiny.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      I do hope you will get a picture of the Belted kingfisher over the water. Enjoyed your beautiful pictures. :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Mycee! The spring birds seem to be dropping in now.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wonderful shots Deb!! Enjoying every hub of yours.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, sg. Yes, the city is very careful with their birds.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jim, I'm sure that the Delta Pond piece will be wonderful. I'm really looking forward to seeing what is in your area. Thanks so much for all your support.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great shot of the Bald Eagle! I am glad to hear that Stillwater keeps the mowers away when they know there are Kildeer eggs around. Thumbs up to the city! Your pictures are great as always. I love checking in with you to see what you have found for the day! Keep 'em coming! Up and more! :)

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Wonderful, Deb! Congrats on those Ross's Geese! The Cardinal photo is great! The Kingfisher is a wonderful photo too. I am going to find the time soon for a shot at Delta Ponds, nothing as good as yours but fun I hope.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ah, yes, I have been inside for a while. I was only out here for about an hour or so. It all depends on what I see.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Awesome photo of the Bald Eagle and fascinating signs to look for when they are in the area. I hope you find luck with the Belted Kingfisher as I would enjoy seeing that photo as well. The information on the starlings is amusing. How outstanding to know you can teach them to talk. Although they are ultimately the happiest in the wild, what a project that would be. The photo of the Bald Eagle in flight is a life changer.

      I find it interesting that the cold weather brings more activity with rare species.

      Can't wait to see what you produce next. This hub, by far has been my favorite.

      Get inside and get warm now.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, Connie, you know it. It makes it worthwhile, even in the bitter cold, which is really when I get more than usual. The ice in the lack can drive the waterfowl closer to me.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That lake is amazing, Alicia. It is a very important place on the Central Flyway. With all the birds that I capture, I wonder about all the others that I miss. There has got to be plenty.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I wouldn't go anywhere without VR when it comes to birds. I hope to one day get those ultimate kingfisher shots, Chris.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are most welcome, Johan. I will tell you this. The birds are confused now, as are the trees. They are budding.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks so much, Eddy. I sure love my birds. They always put a smile on my face every day. Thanks for all the votes.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Eagles breed early, Highland Terrier. There will be plenty of time for the chicks to hatch. Not only that, it isn't that cold here in OK.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Ghost! Long time no see, hope that you are well. Most of our eagles in Maine used to fish as well, unless the y resided near chickens.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nettlemere, I think someone told me about that once. A friend from Trip-State Bird Rescue raised his own youngster. They had a very close relationship.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hey Deb, you sure had some wonderful sightings this weekend! I love that belted kingfisher. I had never heard of a Ross Goose, so thank you for showing me those beautiful birds. What a shot of the cardinal, so up close and personal! Those little spotted sandpipers are really cute. I agree with you about the starlings--I love their starry feathers and the fact that they are gifted mimics. And what about that bald eagle--amazing stuff!! Voted Way Up+ Great Job. I'm sure you're ecstatic with all these wonderful new sightings.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The northern cardinal is so beautiful, Deb, as are all the other birds. I would love to get a close-up photo of a kingfisher! Boomer Lake has such a diverse group of birds - it's fascinating to read about them and to look at their photos.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Exciting shots Deb. In the summer and fall when I am fishing from my kayak, I always hear a splashing along the edges of the small lake that I favor. I thought it was fish, but then one day I sat and watched. It was kingfishers. They sit in the trees over the edge of the shoreline and then hover and dive for minnows. I hesitate taking my camera in the kayak, but I could get the hovering shots if I did. I'd have to use my 70-210 lens, but I think it would work if I could hold still for the shot. It will be a few months before I have that opportunity again though.

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      johan smulders 4 years ago

      Another great visit-thanks!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful Deb and I am learning so much from you.

      I have always spent so much time around nature but have to admit that my knowledge on birds is a little lacking. Until of course i met you on here.

      Fascinating and keep them coming. I vote up,across and share all around.

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago

      Great pictures as always. Is it not a bit early for birds to be breeding surely is too cold for the chicks.

      Keep up the great work.

    • profile image

      Ghost32 4 years ago

      Excellent as ever, Deb. The pic of the bald eagle standing in water is interesting. Where Pam & I used to live off grid in Montana, there was a sizeable beaver pond about half a mile upstream and around the next corner of the stream from our place. Lots of migrating ducks used to land there, feeding & just hanging out for days, sometimes weeks at a time--and when they did, this one big bald eagle would hunt them.

      But the eagle never touched the water and never attacked a duck that was in the water. It (the eagle) would fly down to the Missouri River & fish, sometimes returning to the nest with a rainbow trout in its talons, but with the ducks, it waited for them to waddle up on the banks of the pond...and THEN went after them.

      Vote Up & More.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I love the contrast of cardinal red against the blue sky. Your comment about being able to keep a fledling starling if you find it, reminded me of a book I read years ago about a lady who did just that. I think it was called 'Arnie the darling staring'.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, it sure is, but sometimes, one must just take the good with the bad.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great pics this week, Deb! I love the Kingfisher. As always, I've greatly enjoyed the visit. I'll be glad, though, when it warms up. It's a bit chilly on the shoreline with that wind blowing. :)