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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday June 16, 2013
The Greatest Wonders of All
This is the time of year that nature exhibits the greatest beauty of all, and that is epitomized with new life. From the simplest grasses and weeds to the grandest wonder of observing a tiny beak coming through an eggshell, and the good fortune of watching a deer giving birth. For a naturalist, these are the most wondrous and remarkable things that our earth has to offer. I cannot stress enough that we must take care of our planet before it gives up and cannot go on any longer. Take the time to pick up that carelessly tossed piece of litter, extinguish that smoldering cigarette, and think twice before putting deadly chemicals in your gardens and on your lawns. At least one life depends upon it.
The nesting birds that I have been observing are doing very well, even under strong storms. The beautiful nest is holding nicely, and both parents are actively taking care of their young. This week, the male has been giving fabulous photo opportunities, possibly even strutting his stuff, because he is a father.
There are three or four nesting pair on the east side of the lake alone. This year birds seem to be sharing trees with one another, too, as I have a Great-tailed Grackle nest in the same tree as my orioles. The young grackles are hopping up and down on the branches of this oak, and the orioles are just minding their business, as are the grackle family.
Eurasian Collared Doves
Last year, there were numerous Mourning Doves and very few Eurasian Collared Doves. This year is just the opposite, as the collared Doves are very abundant. They are a bit more shy and retiring than the Mourning Dove, tending to keep to themselves as a mated pair, not at all gregarious. They have a black ring on the back of he neck, a square tail, and are a paler beige than the Mourning Dove.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Mating Rituals
A couple of days ago, there were six of them doing aerial acrobatics in the late afternoon. I know what a hard time I have been having trying to get photos under these circumstances, but I still continue to try. As I get to know my camera, I have been able to react quite a bit more quickly, so practicing this is still very important to me to achieve the best possible shots.
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday June 16, 2012
Another segment in Deb Hirt's weekly series with two surprise guests, as well as nestlings being fed by the parents.
The Purple Martins continue to do well at their two man-made houses on the east side of the lake. Both colonies have young and have been working hard at trying to keep them well fed. It is a rare thing for them not to be on the move, and during their bug hunting for themselves and the young, they make frequent trips over the water, getting drinks while on the wing. They are sharing their space with a pair of House Sparrows, just like last year.
It was a wonder to see a Mallard hen with her young on the main part of the lake. They usually disappear to the quiet of the Northern Reaches, and leave the Drakes on the lake proper to go about their business. The young ones are looking well, as you can see, and mother surely is proud of her beautiful brood.
Not long after sunrise, a mockingbird was pestering some of the scissor-tails, and trying to keep himself occupied, though in a negative manner. He was driven away from the nest, and made a number of bird calls for no birds in this area. I suspect that it was a first-year adult, as they are much more raucous than a paired bird. He did his best to try to draw as much attention to himself, and he certainly attracted me.
The goslings are growing well and this year they don't seem quite as plentiful as last season. Even Goose Island wasn't as crowded as usual this spring. It began with a bang, but it appears that many of them moved on for whatever reason. I didn't hear about a culling, but it is quite possible that occurred. What we do have here are all healthy and very robust.
The blackbirds are also rearing young and are quite plentiful. Many of their nests are in very close proximity, but they are handling this close living without any problems. I have seen the young ones out of the nest, but I haven't been able to get very good photos, as they are so near the ground. A male was hunting for bugs with a couple of his charges earlier in the week, and they stayed close, continually. I'm sure that he was happy to return them to the care of mom.
This is about all that I have to report this week. Keep your head in the clouds and your eyes to the ground. Happy birding until next week.