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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday June 16, 2013

Updated on June 19, 2013
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher | Source

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.

Male Baltimore Oriole
Male Baltimore Oriole | Source
Male Baltimore Oriole at Hs Nest with Dinner in His Beak
Male Baltimore Oriole at Hs Nest with Dinner in His Beak | Source

Baltimore Orioles

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 Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove | Source

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
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Mating Rituals | Source
Source

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.

Female Purple Martin
Female Purple Martin | Source
Source

Purple Martins

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.

Mallard Hen with Ducklings
Mallard Hen with Ducklings | Source

Mallard Clan

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.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird | Source

Northern Mockingbird

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.

Canada Gosling
Canada Gosling | Source
Source

Canada Goslings

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.

Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird | Source

Red-winged Blackbirds

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.

American Robin in Flight
American Robin in Flight | Source
Red-winged Blackbird in Flight
Red-winged Blackbird in Flight | Source
Canada Gosling
Canada Gosling | Source
Common Blue Damselfly
Common Blue Damselfly | Source

Boomer Lake Park

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    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Beautiful work, Deb. We have an abundance of winged wildlife here in Florida (plastic Flamingo's not included), and I thoroughly enjoy the beauty that they bring to my world. And again, I thank you for sharing this beauty with us all.

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

      Hey, precy anza! There are so many good things that surround us, all we have to do it look for them. I saw a HUGE grasshopper the other day, and I was told that it could be a katydid. Never saw one before, but I hope to get a picture of one.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Beautiful photos! Happy to know the grackles and orioles are sharing the tree. :) Lovely color of the damselfly, I used to play and run after them when I was a kid :) We are lucky to see all this beauty of Mother Earth! And thanks for sharing it with us! Up and shared! And have a great weekend ^-^'

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

      Hey, Colin! Glad that you and the cats liked the last column. I would love to see you share my work. If it puts a smile on someone's face, my job is done. Thanks to my kindred spirit!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Good afternoon Deb from Colin and his cats at lake erie time 3:30pm ontario canada and I love your hub presentation here and each one that you put together is always a true labor of love.

      I watch the birds everyday here in my front yard and over the lake and so do my cats with bemusement and amusement and I feed our birds bread and even yesterday leftover coffee cake which they loved.

      So that's why we are kindred spirits we are privileged to see the same beauty in our surroundings where we live.

      I will post your beautiful work here madly and gladly to my FB page with a link and a share and send to you 3 big Canadian hugs from Colin and his cat crew Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 3:35pm

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

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

      "but I am neither brave nor silly enough to do what he did."

      Touched!

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

      Indeed, Alicia, and right now, we have more babies! Wait until you see these shots, unless you friend me on facebook, then you'll see them even sooner.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I always look forward to reading your weekly reports about Boomer Lake, Deb, and the interesting photos are a lovely bonus. I see that some of the babies are growing up!

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

      Hey, Bill! How are you? The birds are amazing, without a doubt. You know, I said that I would never retire, but now I look forward to that blessed event so I can be more involved with birds. It's just too bar that it is still a number of years away...

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Deb, I am amazed at the variety of birds at Boomer Lake. You have some excellent photos. The robin in flight and the red-winged black bird in flight are superb. Great job.

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

      Thanks, Barbara Kay! Yes, I am VERY lucky. Maybe if you put out some orange halves, the orioles will wander over, as I understand that they are quite fond of them. The nest is at the end of tree branches, furthest from the trunk. If they are around, you will hear them. If you haven't seen my oriole story, I added photos to it.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      We had an oriole at the hummingbird feeder this spring and I thought that was so special. You got a closeup of the nest! Later I saw a female here, but other than that we haven't had any other sitings. You are lucky to be in an area with so much wildlife. Nice photos.

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

      Glad that you've been enjoying your readings on nature. It is a whole new world out there once you find out how to open your eyes, Leslie. I sit on a tree limb above your world coyly laughing...

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Your interest in the tiniest details of nature in all it's manifestations is a beautiful thing to see - and read! You've taught me sooo much about birds, something that never really interested me previously! Now - i'm actually LOOKING at them!

      thank you for that Deb, they are beautiful and interesting...kinda like YOU!

      sharing..

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

      That's it, Kris! Thanks for your help. It is a beautiful specimen.

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

      Hi Deb, I've been out of town for a few weeks, and mostly off line.

      I'm no damselfly expert, but some googling got me "Common Blue Damselfly" -- I took a picture of one recently myself, but it was very blurry! http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/common-blue-damselfl...

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

      Thanks, Johan! Morning lighting doesn't hurt, either.

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

      Thanks, Mary! There are so many great things to look out out in the field. The possibilities are endless.

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

      Thanks, Jaye! Your dove could be one of several. Perhaps you will see one and be able to photograph it. Glad that you're also enjoying nature.

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

      Theresa, I really don't wait long for the birds to perform. Seriously, all I have to do is show up.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Your bird in flight photos are great, so difficult to get. Another interesting visit.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Totally awesome! There is nothing left to say. Except that I am linking this hub to one I am working on right now about the beauty in nature.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      As usual, I enjoyed your beautiful photos, Deb, and agree with you wholeheartedly that we all need to do our best to help care for our planet, its living creatures, plants and water sources.

      A lot of birds visit my yard, and, though I don't know the names of all of them, I am becoming accustomed to their various calls and songs. I hear doves cooing frequently. I have no idea which species of dove is prevalent in the Deep South, USA (Mississippi), but I do enjoy hearing them.

      Thanks for sharing your glorious views of nature with us!

      Voted Up+++ and shared

      Jaye

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Such beautiful, beautiful photographs ( you must have developed extraordinary patience) and I appreciate your detailed description and commentary. Have a wonderful week. Theresa

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

      Thanks, Gawth. I'm having fun, as usual. Had a few horrendous storms yesterday afternoon, evening, and early this morning. I'm a bit tired today, but going to the lake in the afternoon after work should help.

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

      Martin, I have always had a pretty good idea on what these birds are going to do. I don't stand and wait for hours like some people, nor am I in a blind. The maestro just performs.

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

      Steve and I certainly thought the same, Suhail, but I am neither brave nor silly enough to do what he did.

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

      Thanks, Connie. I'm learning more about what my camera can do as I use it, so that helps a lot. I was also told that I needed special equipment, but that just might not be the case after all, if I can do this right. Glad that you liked this week's tweet and hop.

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

      Yes, Jackie, I am VERY lucky. Yes, your hot pepper spray will take care of your hungry pest.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 4 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      wonderful photos as usual Avian...

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Amazing! What goes on in your mind when you offer up these marvels?

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

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

      The opening paragraph is a gem, Deb.

      Again, beautiful pictures that reflect on your power of observation.

      "My job, my mission, the reason I have been put on this planet, is to save wildlife." - Steve Irwin

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb I am in awe of the 'in-flight' images you have captured! I know how fast those birds are moving, and how high they can go. Bravo my friend! That red wing in flight was really beautiful, as are all of your pictures as usual.

      It's very interesting to read your commentary as well. Voted Up+++

      ;) Pearl

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Your warning reminded me I need to use my hot pepper spray on some plants. Some leaves are getting munched away and I haven't seen the culprits yet but hope to burn their tongues, lol. Beautiful shots and even a dragonfly. You sure have a variety of things lucky you.

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

      Hey, Kris, god to see you, I was wondering where you were. Thanks for the info, I don't know much about any of the other wonderful wildlife. You don't happen to know what kind of damselfly it is, do you?

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

      Awesome photos as always, Deb. I do so much better with stuff that doesn't budge, like flowers!

      The final pic, BTW is a damselfly, not a dragonfly - they are closely related but hold their wings differently.

      http://katatrepsis.com/2011/08/14/dragonflies-vs-d...

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

      Thanks, Wayne. Been trying to ramp up the pics. I think I'm starting to get there.

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Beautiful work Deb.

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

      But of course, Billy. What would Boomer Lake be without its friends? Happy Father's Day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I just dropped by before our barbecue begins, and as always you are the perfect host. Thanks for a touch of beauty before the family congregates.

      bill

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

      Thanks, Anna! As always, it is good to see you. It is my pleasure to bring good pictures for you to enjoy.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Incredible pictures as usual. I really liked your opening passage with the important message about caring for our beautiful world.

      Interesting and educational as always. Anna

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