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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday July 1, 2012
Welcome to Boomer Lake, my friends. The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner, and all is well in the great state of Oklahoma. The temperatures have been around the 104-112 degree range, and the birds have been doing their best to keep cool. Unfortunately, they always have to be outside, so many have hidden in the deeper woods. Many of our old favorites have been in view in early morning.
There are still several Mallards attending their young, and many of them are getting older and getting more similar to their mothers. I say that, as young Mallards resemble the females, not yet having experienced a first season.
The Northern Flicker has also been out early searching for bugs, though I actually saw one in a tree, but for a brief moment. He must have been temporarily dazed by the heat.
There are still a few butterflies in this oppressive heat, as well as a mayfly in late June. Imagine that!
The parents still have quite a few young that they are raising. This female Red-Winged Blackbird had good success hunting for food. The flycatcher that I saw earlier today had quite a time with a cicada. He was actually jumping about trying to swallow it, and even from a distance, I could tell that he had quite a mouthful. By the time he swallowed it, he had to stay still for a period of time, then finally regained the composure after that struggle to be on his way. It was rather surprising that he was able to fly after that workout.
The Yellow-Throated Vireo was seen in the coral honeysuckle this week. I wasn’t able to get a good photo, but he was actually trying to pull a flower from the vine.
A lovely Baltimore Oriole made an appearance rather close by, so I was finally able to get a good photo of one of them. When I see them, they are usually in the thick woods on the north side of the lake with many other wonderful species. I feel that I may have better luck in the early fall when the trees begin shedding their leaves to get pictures of some of these more elusive songbirds and woodpeckers. It’s amazing how many birds one can hear but never see.
Many of the Canada Geese are still grounded due to the molt, as well as many Mallards. Many of the young geese are close to adult size and plumage, and it is easier to tell the young ones, as they nearly have their full complement of flight feathers, whereas the parents’ new feathers are still coming in.
The Great Egret has been surveying the lake, and I do believe has finally settled on the best fishing spot. Many of the area fisherfolk should pay more attention to these birds, as they are always in the know about fishing conditions and can provide helpful advice.
This little Great-Tailed Grackle shows how even the young black birds have reasoning power. An outside faucet needs a new washer, and since this little one was in the area, he was trying to position himself in order to catch some of the water. He has not developed the skills on how to drink from the ground yet, but he definitely has the right idea.
The young Western Kingbirds are doing very well for themselves. They are still under the watchful eye of mother bird, but they are honestly fending for themselves. Naturally, if they see mom, they will beg for food, but that is the way of the natural world.
The week draws to an end, but tomorrow begins anew. I’ll be out there once again to look for things of interest for you. In the meantime, keep your eyes to the ground and your head to the clouds. Happy birding!