Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday July 7, 2013
Beautiful Weather and Beautiful Scenery
This was a week of sunshine ad calm winds, the Fourth of July has come and gone without any major incidents, and life is back to normal. Babies are all around the lake, flowers are blooming, and there is plenty of milkweed to feed our flying wonders. The first batch of Canada Geese are nearly adults, and there are new bumper crops of Mallards. More people than usual are visiting the lake, and I have found more photographers, fisherfolk, joggers, and nature enthusiasts. Life has taken on that wonderful, dreamy quality, and it is a joy to see people having fun with their families and barbecuing on the weekends.
The Great Egrets are increasing in numbers around the lake. Many males are in that immaculate, long-flowing white breeding plumage that just slowly wafts like the robe of a king. They look like pristine royalty, seeking out mates and showing how fine they are, as any good mate with potential would do.
The Eastern Kingbirds surround the lake, surveying their territory high in the air. Parents have been fledging their beautiful youngsters, some with as many as five young. These gorgeous youngsters have been making me smile and showing what lovely little specimens they are. Next season they will return to raise their own families, but we are jumping the gun a bit. Parents are still working on training the little ones that they must begin hunting for their own food. It is not far, for I have seen a few little ones reaching for their own flying objects.
Young Scissor-tailed Flycatchers
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are in large numbers. I have found a few more nests filled with young and fledglings are more than plentiful. It makes me wonder if nature has given a few extra in case this is going to be a hard winter. We’ll just have to bide our time and see how the seasons will play out.
The Purple Martins have also fledged a few young. They have been very apt pupils, following their parents and learning where to get their water and the choicest insects. Don’t let their semi-diminutive size fool you, as they are just as quick as their parents and nearly as large.
Baltimore Oriole Immature
The Baltimore Oriole that fledged a short time ago is now a strapping youth. This once is still in the general area, though I have neither seen nor heard his parents for a while. There is a good chance that this bird is already on its own, for it is close to full grown and has a great set of lungs. If it wasn’t for those loud dulcet tones, I never would have spotted it.
Bell's and Warbling Vireos
Both the Bell’s and Warbling Vireos are not far from one another. Bell’s still hasn’t fledged its little ones, and it appears that the Warbling Vireo are choosing nest sites. There were several located in one tree yesterday hunting for bugs and one was picking milkweed. It would make me very happy if they chose to stay right on the walkpath where they can be easily seen.
Where to Find Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater, OK
Mourning Doves have also fledged one set of two. They are very close to adulthood, still with a few strands of down on the head. They look quite well, no sign of conjunctivitis like many tend to have.
Just a reminder to keep cats indoors during this hectic summer season. There are lots of fledglings and nestlings out right now. If your cats like to watch the birds, make them a window seat where they can watch a bird feeder that is outside by their window. It will keep cats safe from traffic and the birds safe from them. Nature thanks you for your efforts.
The butterfly population is doing well, many beautiful varieties are inhabiting the lake area. Here is a nice example of a black swallowtail and another type that I happened to catch for morning feedings. They are beautiful examples. There is a nice looking viceroy that was on the grass by the water sunning itself, and I happened to be in a good position to capture this one, too.
This was a wonderful holiday weekend that I thoroughly enjoyed. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds until next time. Happy birding and may your life list be fulfilled.