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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday June 2, 2013

Updated on June 4, 2013
Mallard Hen with Her Ducklings
Mallard Hen with Her Ducklings | Source

Water Everywhere!

Between the wind and the rain, my little piece of Oklahoma is still standing strong, but the ducks are confused. They aren’t sure if they should be in Boomer Lake or in the many deep puddles in fields around the lake. Basically, I think it is a matter of convenience. It doesn’t matter where I look, I have ducks surrounding me. As long as they keep out of the roadway, I’m happy, and so far, they have done that.

Red Eared Sliders, All in a Row
Red Eared Sliders, All in a Row | Source
Watersnake | Source

Reptile Life

The lake has a healthy amount of water in it, and the red eared sliders are sunning themselves on what banks are left on the Southern Cove. There have been several roiling battles in the water between red eared sliders and either their meals or the water moccasins. To be honest, I’m not completely certain that these snakes are the poisonous variety. By the time I had the camera trained on the battle, it was over, so I have nothing to show you there, BUT I do have a decent shot of a snake, and it’s a big one.

I found through research, that this snake is the harmless watersnake. A water moccasin has a large head and a thick neck, which this one does not.

Female Blue-winged Teal
Female Blue-winged Teal | Source
Male Blue-winged Teal
Male Blue-winged Teal | Source
Male Mockingbird Mantling
Male Mockingbird Mantling | Source

Dodging the Storms

While out getting pictures for several days, I got caught in cloudbursts, but it was worth it. I got great shots of the Blue-winged Teals, the Northern Mockingbird, and the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird | Source
Northern Mockingbird Seeking a Respite from His Transgression with the Western Kingbird
Northern Mockingbird Seeking a Respite from His Transgression with the Western Kingbird | Source

Western Kingbird vs. Northern Mockingbird

Yesterday, I witnessed the Western Kingbird evict the Northern Mockingbird from his tree, which includes his nest. The nest from last year has been rebuilt, but it doesn’t appear to be in use. Perhaps this is the new residence, but I cannot say if this is the same pair or not. I’ll still watch the old nest, just in case it is taken over.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo | Source

White-eyed Vireo

I believe I have located the nest of a White-eyed Vireo, but I won’t swear that this is a white eye. I was lucky to get two photos, neither of which are prime, but I know that I have a vireo nest. I spent more time there today, but didn’t see the parents. However, the little tree was alive with lots of calls.

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit | Source

Marsh Rabbits

There are lots of marsh rabbits around the lake, so I know that the population is healthy. I saw a youngster, but it was so fast, I was unable to even think about getting a photo. For those of you that are curious, these rabbits are similar to cottontails, but the ears are much shorter.

Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark | Source

Eastern Meadowlarks

There are several Eastern Meadowlarks in residence at and on the outskirts of the lake. I got a few very bad photos today facing the sun. I was unable to locate the one that was on the correct side of the lake for the time of day, much less in a tree like last year. With all the rain, the fields are very high, so the grass hides them without any effort at all.


Butterflies are Still Missing

I got shots of a butterfly, so the bad weather hasn’t been a deterrent for some of them. I haven’t seen any admirals so far this year, but I have seen one or two monarchs over the past few weeks. I’m sure that once the weather calms down, they will be out in droves.

Boomer Lake Park, Stillwater, OK

yellow shafted Northern Flicker
yellow shafted Northern Flicker | Source

Northern Flicker

The yellow shafted Northern Flicker was out insect hunting this morning, and these are some of the better shots that I have for this bird now. The yellow shafted variety of the flicker is the most common, but there are also the red shafted and gilded. Do you see the yellow on the back of the bird? That’s where the coloring for the different varieties is located for identification purposes.

Great Blue Heron Taking Off
Great Blue Heron Taking Off | Source

Northern Reaches

I lost a couple of photo opportunities for the Yellow Warbler, but plenty of them are around the Southern Cove. An attempt was made to infiltrate the Northern Reaches, but there is so much water, I was unable to walk far. There is a great deal of bird life out there, including an assortment of warblers, vireos, bluebirds, redstart, buntings, grosbeaks, and I actually caught a glimpse of the longspurs. The birds are out there, but will be difficult to photograph with the trees fully leafed.

In a Nutshell

Here’s hoping that everyone has been surviving the bad weather as easily as I have. If you think of it, while out in your travels, please pick up fishing line and plastic litter. This will help keep our feathered friends safe from the potential harm that this material can cause. If any of you teach, please explain this to your students, and they can educate their parents, too. Thanks so much for your continued help and support.

Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding to one and all, ad may you all find birds on your Life List. I’ll talk to you again next week.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Flight
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Flight | Source
Great Blue Heron in Flight
Great Blue Heron in Flight | Source
Female Purple Martin
Female Purple Martin | Source


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, M! Animals continue to amaze me every day. I just never know what to expect, and that really is the beauty of it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Isn't it so neat to see those animals in line or in a row. Thanks for sharing . Enjoy your great pictures. :-)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, CoffeeKlatch Gals! Yes, I DO live in a remarkably magical realm of beauty and wonder. Glad that you're enjoying hearing about all the inhabitants of the lake.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I just love reading your continuing hubs about our wildlife out there. You live in a magical place. Love those photos and bits of information. Up, beautiful, and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Anna! As you know, nature is such a big part of me, and I am around it every day. Glad that you enjoy the series, as much as I enjoy delivering it every week.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi, as always your photography was so natural and your words so informative. I really liked your reptile section! Your hubs make the outside world come in a lot closer. Thank you.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! Yesterday a friend told me that he has seen the lake quite a bit higher. I have only been here three years, and this is the highest that I have ever seen it. Butterflies have been coming in, and I was able to get several great shots in the early afternoon today. I have another trick to try for capturing birds in flight, so wish me luck.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Beautiful hub as always, the photo of the kingbird? think thats what it was called, was beautiful, what a great shot! sorry to hear about the weather, we are going through a heat wave here so its great, but it won't last long. we don't get the rain so much, just dull!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Dave! I'm trying to keep learning how to use this camera, and what I'm really working on now, is birds in flight. I know that is going to be a tough one, but, I'll get it eventually. I just keep going to the lake, keeping my eyes and ears open, and practicing those shots.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb,

      Once again you have produced a valuable and interestingly beautiful hub. Your images are sure getting better and better every hub you produce. Life at Boomer Lake is keeping me and the rest of the world well informed, of your avian friends.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the link, Colin, feel free to change them weekly, as I do a new column. It pleases me to learn that so many people are getting so much joy from this series. It amazes me to know how many people read it. The locals stop me around the lake to chat, to share bird stories, and we learn from each other. This is the greatest job that money cannot buy, and I love it.

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      Good afternoon Deb - I always love and adore your Boomer Lake series and will share and link this beautiful page by you to my Facebook timeline - still cool here by the lake these days but one shouldn't complain because, lol, it's still early summer yet and could get a lot hotter for sure ...and it will.

      Like you I see something different everyday in the beauty of nature - it's always changing .... always surprising us.

      Love your photography- it's really a work of art and a labor of love.

      Sending you warm wishes from Colin and his furried kids at lake erie time ontario canada 3:31pm

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! I'm glad that you liked that little tidbit in there about litter than can harm birds and other animals. I have found that many of the kids are willing to teach adults about how to better care for our wildlife once they learn something new.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Interesting photos and hub, as always, Deb. I especially like the photo of the Eastern Meadowlark! Thanks for the reminder to pick up litter and to encourage children to do the same.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Chris! I am glad that you're enjoying Boomer Lake. Many people have been telling me in Stillwater how much they like the column, too. People even stop me at the lake now, just to chat and see what's new.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 

      6 years ago

      I really enjoy reading these hubs of yours. I learn something new each time I read them, and most importantly that each season has it's own beauty! The pictures are also beautiful, thanks for sharing! Voted up, beautiful and interesting!

      Hope you are having a wonderful day,


    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Beautiful work, Deb! I did not know that the Kingbird was likely to be more aggressive than the Mockingbird. There may be a rematch. Not sure about that snake, but would not want to go swimming with him.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey teaches! Thanks so much. The lake has a lot going for it, all right.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey Zsuzsy! You are so welcome, and thanks for all the great votes.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Lela! I'm glad that you enjoyed this week's segment. It was fun to write, and there were a lot of amusing moments this week.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful bird photos. The marsh has lots of interesting wildlife.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Great hub along with some fantastic pictures. Thank you for sharing.

      Voted up and awesome.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • CreatePerfection profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Colorado


      This is the best yet. You have outdone yourself. What amazing pictures and the article is filled with interesting information. I have had guests for the last week, so I have not been on my computer at all, but I am so glad to see this great hub. Thank you for the beauty you share.



    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, precy anza! I think about all the people that aren't as lucky as I to be near a body of water, those that are shut in and cannot get out, and those that are deep within the cities. It is all those people that I write this for, to give them peace and happiness, if even for a short time.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      Wow! A closer shot of the marsh rabbit, beautiful! And of course the other photos too. I may not be close to a lake like this, or this birds visiting our yard but I could see them on your hub and read about them :) Thanks! Up and shared!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, truthfornow! I think we'll have a little reprieve for a while. As the old saying goes, if you don't like the weather here, stick around. It will change in five minutes. I'm glad that you think the photos are all right.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Connie! Yes, it is nice to see the lake so full. It is really turning into a hub of activity out there now, and the parasites and protozoa will be kept at a more manageable level. Those vireos are something else...they don't want to stay still for a moment if they can help it. As things level off and we hit fall, there will be a period in there when I can hit the Northern Reaches and get some good shots.

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Glad you and the animals at the lake made it through all that bad weather. These photos are great.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, these shots are awesome! I'm so glad to hear that you have received much needed rain in your area; and that the storms have not bothered you and your birds! I loved seeing the mockingbird mantling, and the western kingbird is so beautiful. I enjoyed seeing the white-eyed vireo. I have red-eyed vireos here, but have not been able to capture them with the camera yet. They stay pretty well hidden in the leaves. Nice shots of the purple martins, too. What a great week you had! Maybe you'll have to build a small raft in order to reach those elusive songbirds!

      Great job ;) Connie

      Voted Up+++

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad you like, Leslie. No matter what happens to our little creatures, they always pick themselves up and do what they must. t is a hard life, but luckily, they come with weatherproofing. Also, I have had them at my door before in really bad weather.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I'm still getting used to the camera, Jackie. I've only been actively using it for four months, though I do have a few things in the works. I have some artwork being done, which I will show you.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      Deb..i adore how you bring our attention to the plight of the smaller creatures! The devastation is so overwhelming that it's hard to think about much than human suffering, but - i feel so badly for these defenseless babies! They must be terrified!

      I'm glad most of them are getting their lives back together and rebuilding their homes - just like people!

      love you dear1


    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Deb, you really should have a book of photos one day. These are gorgeous and the rabbit one looks like a work of art!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, yes, Peg, trash in any form is bad news in any body of water. Something will try to eat it, not knowing any better. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, whonu! I'd love to see what kinds of birds that you have in your area. Ever think about doing your own birding story?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Billy! You are entirely welcome. Some of the friends at work had to stay at a shelter for a while, so it didn't escape everyone in my general area. Stillwater usually doesn't get hit with tornadoes. It's very rare.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Stunning photos this week, Deb. I learned a lot about some birds I'd never seen. And what a valuable lesson for everyone, to pick up the hazards that affect our wildlife.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Very nice pics and commentary my friend aviannovice. Glad you have nice weather for a change. I have got to go over to the big local lake and take a few photos myself. Thanks for sharing whonu

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great shots this week, Deb! You guys have certainly had your share of "exciting" weather. Stay safe and thanks for a touch of beauty this Sunday.


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