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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday July 21, 2013

Updated on August 2, 2013
Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit | Source

Strange Weather and Strange Birds

Strange weather has been occurring all over the country, so even the birds can't get settled. They are still taking care of young ones here in Oklahoma, but over the past week, there have really been very few showing themselves. In other parts of the country, rare birds have been appearing, like the Rufous-necked Wood Rail in New Mexico, a South American bird. Also, southern California has had the Lesser Sand-Plover and the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, which just don't belong there. Irruptions? Perhaps. Definitely oddities in what nature has intended, but everything is in a state of flux, and we haven't even hit fall migration yet. If you have figured out what is happening in the scheme of things, please let me know.


Dickcissel
Dickcissel | Source

Oklahoma's Dickcissel

Finally, I got the opportunity that I needed to get closer to the little Dickcissel. I'd been trying for weeks, and I am no longer considered a threat. There are quite a few of them in the area, so I am going to assume that they didn't wear out their welcome in Venezuela, as they are often known to destroy crops of sorghum and rice. The Audubon Society chapter there has most likely worked out an amiable solution with the farmers so that the populations here might be able to rise to some degree.

Cicada Shell
Cicada Shell | Source

Cicadas

Oklahoma happens to have the seventeen-year cicada. During the oppressive heat of summer, we have been serenaded both day and night by this group of insects. Last week, I almost got a picture of a live one, but off it went, as I was intruding upon its space. Here is a shell for you to see, though. They happen to be a good food source for many, including the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. I have actually seen them swallow cicadas whole, but don't ask me how they manage that, other than with a great deal of difficulty. They are actually quite a mouthful for that bird. Oklahoma is home to at least twelve species of the one hundred species in North America alone.

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

Great Egret

There are still a few of these beautiful birds around, though still in short supply. This is the largest white egret in the world, the only one larger is the white morph of the Great Blue Heron. Great Egret in one form or another can be found all over the world, and will spear its prey with that sharp beak. Not only do they eat fish, but they also enjoy amphibians, mice, reptiles, and other small animals.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron has been spending time in trees again during the heat wave. I saw one in Mockingbird Tree again this year, trying to remain cool within the vegetation. It must even be hot in the water now for birds to try to resort to being in trees out in the open.

Scorpion
Scorpion | Source

Scorpions in Oklahoma?

Yes, the dratted little beasts are here, and I know this because I found one in the house. When inquiring about the little buggers, I found out they they even like to get away from the heat. Imagine that, I'm paying to keep scorpions cool now, but I gently picked it up and placed it outside for a photo shoot, for those of you that have never seen one.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

Northern Mockingbird

The mocker that was following me around all winter asking for his picture to be taken is back home again. He was seen yesterday, doing everything that he could to make sure that he was noticed. Hard telling where he might have been before this, but I am almost sure that he is not a part of the family at Mockingbird Tree. It seems that he could be sharing real estate with the American Goldfinch family now.

Moth
Moth | Source
Butterfly
Butterfly | Source

Butterflies and Moths

Even butterflies and moths know enough to keep out of the rain, and they will do everything that they can to keep dry, just like many of us do. I caught some of these lovelies out there this week, and I especially like the one with the dark background. It was in the shadows on the north side of the lake, early evening.

Immature Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Immature Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source
Young European Starling with Parent
Young European Starling with Parent | Source

Baby Birds

The little ones are still out there, but not as many as there have been. I caught a couple of these youngsters today, and they all appear to be looking happy and well. What do you think? One thing that I think is odd, is that I STILL have not seen any baby robins. Anyone else out there missing any birds that they used to commonly see?

Where is Boomer Lake?

This is what there is out and about on the lake this week. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until we meet again next week.

Female Red-winged Blackbird Backlit
Female Red-winged Blackbird Backlit | Source
Montezuma Baldcypress
Montezuma Baldcypress | Source
Fledgling Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Fledgling Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

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

      Hey, moonlike. Glad that you got to record the cicada. There were a number of them here this year, ad I was able to get a couple of good shots, to. They are amazing creatures.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Great photos I always love your photos. I took a picture of the Cicada Shell and the cicada this year. I never see them by us but we were at our daughter's home and there was one on her deck. Voted up.

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

      Hey, Deborah-Lynn! Definitely, keep an eye out for extraordinary things this year. NWF is a great organization that does a tremendous amount of good. Glad to meet you, and enjoy your wildlife.

    • Deborah-Lynn profile image

      Deborah-Lynn 3 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Just discovered you on Hub Pages, you have accumulated quite a Library of wild bird information, one of my very favorite subjects. Yes, it is true that over the past five years we are seeing usual bird species for our climate and location, (Southern CA). It has motivated me to keep bird feeders and create shelters in my National Wild life Habitat, registered backyard! I have a lot of catching up to do as far as reading more of your wonderful Hubs. Good that the weather is getting colder, I'll have more reading time! All the Best!

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

      Thanks again, Meldz. It has been an interesting season, and sometimes,I just had not planned having my camera along.

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      ignugent17 3 years ago

      Yes Deb the weather is really making the animals confused too.

      I always enjoy your pictures. Your scorpions looks so scary.

      Thanks and have a good day! :-)

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

      Hey, Glimmer Twin Fan! Believe me, I understand the time constraints. The scorpion was funny, it didn't try to sting me, and it was the first one that I had ever seen or handled. I didn't know what to expect with it, though I did use caution, as I kept away from the tail. See you at the lake again.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Been on a summer slump so I am trying to catch up on my reading. Lovely hub as usual although those scorpions look a little scary. Thanks for a nice hub to wake up to read this morning.

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

      And that they do, precy anza. Spring and early summer are the time of year for the explosion of exploration and wonder for our new batch of kids.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      I love looking at the photos specially the young flycatcher... priceless to see the young ones as they explore around :) Up and shared!

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

      Hey, Anna! Glad to hear that you were out in nature having your own reflections and glorious times. Being able to be at peace is best achieved while out in that kind of beauty. We did miss you at the lake, but the nice part, is that you are able to visit at your leisure once again. Welcome home!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      I have been away camping again so now I am catching up on your beautiful lake.

      As always your hub was captivating and I thought the Northern Mockingbird picture was perfect.

      It must be really strange finding a scorpion in your house! We only get little harmless spiders.

      Anna

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

      Suhail, thanks for letting me know what is happening in the Great Province of Ontario. Odd things are abound everywhere now, so take mental notes on everything, or write them on the calendar with the appropriate date. It might be something to refer to next year for the changes experienced then. I will talk to you soon.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hey Deb,

      Another useful and awesome hub!

      I consider myself to be lucky that we don't have scorpions here, but I distinctly recall growing up in an area where we had them a plenty. My younger sister was bitten once and it was excruciatingly painful. My former from Arizona used to tell us about their extraordinary precautionary measures while putting on sleepers or shoes.

      I am routinely seeing a few great blue herons on the nearby Credit River, but no great egret anywhere, yet.

      I am also seeing lot of small yellow birds equal to the size of black capped chicadee that I don't know the name of and a falcon that caught a flying bird right before my eyes. I felt bad for the bird (perhaps a starling).

      Because of the heat, K2 and I have started walking at night. but we run into skunks all the time. One little rascal not only attacked us last night, but ran behind us few steps ensuring that we take to heels double our normal capacity.

      And those cicadas have started buzzing in our neck of the woods.

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

      Leslie, thanks for your support on the wildlife. To know them, really is to love them.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      i love how in touch you are with the 'trends', where nature and especially birds are concerned.

      while i try to 'love all creatures', birds, to me - were just kinda there...ya know? lol

      You've brought them to my attention big time! They're amazing, and not only in their beauty.

      Thanks, Deb.

      sharing on

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

      Thanks, Eddy! I do hope that all is well in your part of the world.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      As always Deb a wonderful read and pics are amazing. Have a great day and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      Eddy.

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

      Hey, Eddy! Thanks for the thumbs up and I'm happy that you're enjoying the jaunt. It sure wouldn't be Boomer Lake without you.

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

      Hey, boutiqueshops, good to have you along for the birdwatching tour. Have you ever been to South Padre Island for migrations? I hear it is fabulous birding.

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

      Martin, I hope that all is well now. You know, this heat really isn't good for anything, including computers. The birds don't seem too happy with it, either, and seem to be a lot scarcer.

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

      Hey, Deergha! The lake will always wait for your presence, and show you wonders that you certainly won't see every day.

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

      Hey, Alicia! It is always nice to see you visiting the lake, drinking in the natural wonders that keep the soul vibrant.

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

      Hey, Tammy, thanks for stopping by. I'm giving myself another year, and I think by then I will have amassed enough photographic talent to interest National Geographic. I'm still learning. Don't forget the blog:

      http://debhirt.blogspot.com/

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Such a wonderful hub Deb and here's to so many more for us both to share on here. You are indeed such a wonderful writer and photographer. Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • boutiqueshops profile image

      Sylvia 4 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      Love it! As a newbie bird watcher, I appreciate your photography skills and your descriptions. I'll be back for more!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Had computer problems, but I came here first. Don't know how many more reports I can do tonight.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Good morning dear Deb,

      Now its almost a Monday Musing for me to follow your special Sunday hub on the birds of Boomer lake.....this hub is interesting and mainly appreciate the baby birds and I do agree that they are simply seem to be soooo happy. Hope you have enjoyed your time on this Sunday. Waiting for the next Monday to feel the air with you around Boomer Lake. Take care and God bless you always my friend.

      deergha

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for another enjoyable and interesting look at the Boomer Lake wildlife population, Deb. As always, it was great to see the photos of the lake's inhabitants and visitors.

    • profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago

      Great photos when is your book coming out or the National Geographic articles?? I am sure your talent is not going un noticed.

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

      Good to see you, Vicki, and thanks so much for dropping by. I am out practicing shots every day, and hope to get good enough that magazines will buy the pictures. All I can do it keep bringing you the lovely lake and its inhabitants.

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

      Hey, Colin, thanks so much for your great support, as always. I have also included some commentary as well as photos for my blog, too. I think you'll enjoy it, and I'm hoping to include national events there, as time will permit. It sure is fun going back to the early days of pictures with the new camera. See you at the lake again next week.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hi Deb, lovely as always to see your beautiful wildlife images, and read your great descriptions. Hard to comment, because really, all I can say is your work is very beautiful!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Hello Deb and good evening from Colin and his cat crew at lake erie time ontario canada 7:21pm - just out of the lake after my 2nd dip and time for dinner on my deck outside.

      You are our resident 'Mother Nature' here at the Hub and your passion for wildlife and nature reminds me of that PBS title from the UK - All creatures great and small

      What a lovely assortment of images here as well as enlightening reading too and it does my heart proud - sending warm wishes to you from the three of us and posting your masterwork series here once again on my FB page for all to see and read

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

      Hey, Connie! Glad to hear that your little ones are doing well. One day I hope to see my own Scarlet Tanagers. I'd really like to go to South Padre Island for spring migration and I hope I can find someone to go with me.

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

      Thanks for the report on yoiur missing birds, too, Mary. Yes, something is definitely out of whack. Maybe it has a little to do with this global warming thing, too.

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

      hey, Billy! Hope you get to spend a lot of quality time outdoors, and enjoy lots of BBQs.

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

      Thanks, whonu. There's going to be a lot of different things happening as time progresses, I think.

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

      I will have to do a search on that fish, so thanks for telling me, Jackie. The heron was aspirating, so that's why his neck appears so thick to you. It's like a dog panting. Guess I'm different that way, when it comes to nature. I have to touch everything.

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

      Hey, Mel! This is going to be a strange year for many people with birds that they are used to, I think.

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

      It was interesting, WSayne, as the first time I looked, I SAW it, but it left. I have not been able to spot one since.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Deb! I see I am the first to enjoy another visit at Boomer Lake today. As always your pictures and commentary are outstanding. I love the mockingbirds, and that female red wing is glorious. That young flycatcher is so cute; and how white the egret looks.

      2 days ago about 5 goldfinches showed up at the feeders again. I'm so pleased they and the purple finches have successfully raised their youngsters. It's fun to see their first visits to the nyjer feeder.

      The scarlet tanagers were absent for awhile, but they are now high in the trees warbling like robins with sore throats again; I love to hear them, but it is almost impossible to catch sight of their deep red with all the dense foliage this time of year.

      Voted this lovely hub Up++++ Very enjoyable ;) Connie

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      You continue to educate and entertain us aviannovice. How lovely the wild life is a Boomer Lake. It seems everything is in flux all over the country with this strange weather. Flowers are blooming a month before their time, and yes, we have missing birds too. There have been very few robins which is rare this time of year. I haven't seen one nest which is especially out of character. The other bird that is conspicuously absent is the cardinal. For three years in a row they built a nest in our rose bush but none this year. Of course that gave the catbirds a chance, but no cardinals around.

      Enjoy your week. Till next week my friend.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Strange weather indeed, Deb. We are having the summer of a lifetime here in Washington.

      Scorpions in Oklahoma? I had no idea...seriously amazed by that fact.

      Thanks for the tour of your beautiful countryside. Have a great evening and week ahead.

      bill

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Beautiful work and well written my friend aviannovice. I always enjoy your work on Hub Pages. whonu

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Scorpions! Yikes! I would not touch one, well I might stomp it. Sorry some things need to be extinct unless you can tell me a good use for it, lol. I can't remember if I heard what it was or not but there is a large fish found they thought was extinct so who knows what is going on. I figure nothing is really extinct, God just has them hidden away somewhere until all the bad guys are...well...you know...like in hell.

      Glad you are here today, I would miss you. I wish I could ever get that close to a blue heron! Mine is more solid color and has a long skinny neck.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Wonderful pictures as usual. I was up in San Jose, in Northern California over the weekend and there were Robins up there, so they have not completely fallen off the planet. We only get a rare one or two down here in San Diego. Mockingbirds have disappeared from our neighborhood and I don't know why. There are plenty of them everywhere else in town. Great hub!

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Beautiful, Deb. We have the Cicada's here in Florida as well. The first time I heard them after moving here it freaked me out. I searched the trees for a long time before I could discover the source.