Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday July 21, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake With Deb, Sunday July 22, 2012
Hot off the presses! Here's Deb Hirt's weekly column just waiting for you. The pictures will sure wow you this time!
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.