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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday June 9, 2013

Updated on June 9, 2013
See How Much Smaller the Blue-winged Teal is with Mallards Beside Him?
See How Much Smaller the Blue-winged Teal is with Mallards Beside Him? | Source

Isn't Nature Grand?

There’s still water around the outskirts of the lake that the Mallards, grackles, frogs, and Red-winged blackbirds are using. Today, we might finally hit 100 degrees, which will be the first time this year. Last year, we hit three digits quite a bit before this, but that’s all right. There have been other surprises in the natural world to keep me from wishing for warmer temperatures.

Canada Gosling
Canada Gosling | Source
Source

Canada Goslings are Growing

A number of Canada Geese have been shuttling their young charges back and forth in the area. This week, they greeted me twice on land with the youngsters, who are really growing. There are still a number of little yellow babies, several pre-teens and many teenagers, who have been feeling their oats and trying to run the show.

Nesting and Babies

Many birds are on nests, which include the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Purple Martin, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, and this is just a few of them. I know where a White-Eyed Vireo has set up housekeeping, and try as I might, I cannot get a better picture of the happy parents.

Red-winged Blackbird Diving After Prey
Red-winged Blackbird Diving After Prey | Source

Red-winged Blackbirds: Terror of the Skies

The Red-winged Blackbird males have been driving every bird away that they can possibly pick on, including the red-shouldered Hawk. I got a terrible picture of that battle, and I say terrible, because it was a good half mile away. The hawk may have had dinner in his claws, but I cannot swear to that, since it was hard for the camera lens to pick that up, plus the sun was very unforgiving, too. Yesterday, a Great Blue Heron was even chased away from his fishing spot, due to an ever diligent blackbird. Male birds seem to take it a little far during the spring, whether or not they have a nest, it is just a natural event for them to be protective over what they consider theirs.

Baltimore Oriole Over His Nest
Baltimore Oriole Over His Nest | Source

Baltimore Oriole Nest

Finally, I spotted one of the Baltimore Oriole nests. It was going to happen sooner or later. It is in an oak tree where I first got a picture of a male bird, in a prime area for late afternoon shade and early morning sun. There are definitely nestlings in that gorgeous basket weave patterned nest, for the parents both are being run ragged.

Purple Martin Removing Fecal Sac
Purple Martin Removing Fecal Sac | Source

Purple Martins and Nestlings

The Purple Martins are also back and forth with food and the removal of fecal sacs. One youthful bird actually peeked out of the condo for just a moment, then pulled its head back inside, nearly right at the same time that father arrived with a butterfly for a mid-morning snack. I stayed around the area for about a half hour trying to get some good shots and ascertaining that there really are babies within those walls.

Scissor-tailedFlycatcher Backing Out of Nest
Scissor-tailedFlycatcher Backing Out of Nest | Source
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Leaving Nest
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Leaving Nest | Source

Active Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Nest

There are also a number of Scissor-tailed flycatcher nests that are hosts to young, at least since last week. The proud parents are staying close to home, and doing exactly what their names imply. They don’t have to go far in order to snag unsuspecting small insects on the fly. As a matter of fact, I saw one nest with a waving banner and a tail sticking straight up like a flag to alert me to it. It was a good thing that I stuck around to capture this outstanding material for you. The parent actually has to back out of the nest in order to extricate itself before it can fly off. How interesting is that?

One of the flycatcher trees also has a Western Kingbird nest in it, too, and that makes for a little rivalry, but nothing in the way of any problems. It looks like they can manage to live in harmony with others if kingbirds choose to do so.

Box Turtle
Box Turtle | Source

Box Turtle

Box turtles are also in the area, and I was able to see this wonderful specimen yesterday. This one is a lot smaller than the one that I spotted last year, yet the shell is so much more ornate. Since I am not an authority on turtles, I am wondering if there is more than one type of box turtle living on Boomer Lake. Anyone from OK know if that is the case?

Male Great-ailed Grackle Feeding a Fledgling
Male Great-ailed Grackle Feeding a Fledgling | Source
Fledgling Great-tailed Grackle
Fledgling Great-tailed Grackle | Source

Fledgling Great-tailed Grackles

Fledgling Great-tailed Grackles are out and about, and today, they were with their fathers. They certainly kept the adults busy, hanging around the southeastern side of Goose Island. One male had his hands full with a pair of them, and it seemed like a male Red-winged Blackbird was enjoying the show. I’m sure that he’ll understand once he has his own young ones.

Great Egret
Great Egret | Source

Great Egret

The Great Egret still has small numbers at this point, but it is only a matter of time before that population rises. It seems that they like a bit of an increase in temperature, especially overnight before they will be here in any numbers.

What kind of Animals Do You Like?

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Swallowtail
Swallowtail | Source
Mourning Cloak(right) and possibly a Northern Pearly Eye(left)
Mourning Cloak(right) and possibly a Northern Pearly Eye(left) | Source

Butterflies

There are also more butterflies out and about, too. I got several shots throughout the week, and I’m still hoping that many more are on their northern flight pattern. This was the first time that I got a beautiful swallowtail like this one.

There still has been no sign of any Green Herons on the lake. I know that they have got to be out there and will show up sooner or later.

Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding, and keep me informed on your new discoveries. Until next week’s issue, I bid you good day.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Flight
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Flight | Source
Source
Source
Female Red-winged Blackbird in Flight
Female Red-winged Blackbird in Flight | Source

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

      Lenzy, the fracking issue is a big problem for us and wildlife, not to mention the destruction of the land, as well as the nasty chemicals used to do the job. That's why none of our government live in the area where the pristine land is being poisoned and destroyed, they don't want cancer for themselves or their families. Fortunately, Boomer Lake has none of that around it, and it is safe for all to enjoy.

    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Nice hub Deb. I have a special spot that I love to go and enjoy bird life as well. Thankfully many of the birds have not been dissuaded from spending time on the pond after the fracking site was established in the middle of my pristine bird watching site. However, it has taken its toll on birds like cuckoos and field birds. Happy bird watching. Lenzy

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

      Sounds like you have a few birds there. Do you ever get out to the country to take a look around?

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      The usual visitors, hummers, hawks, finches and dove. :) I usually see them on where I work, spotting a hummer buzzing by the window or sipping flowers, finches on a neighbors roof edge, dove on the electric wire cooing. And I love hearing it :) First time of spotting a big squirrel too few weeks ago.

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

      precy anza, it was a good week, no doubt about that. Any more good birds in your area?

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Enjoyed it, as always :) Loved seeing the nest of both the scissor-tailed flycatcher and the baltimore-oriole. Happy to see that turtle too, looks like it's ready for the camera ^-^'

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

      We had a lot of rain, and now it is pretty hot. The weather should straighten out eventually. It has been rather windy, and the poor butterflies have been blowing all around!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I wish the weather was like that over here! lol! our summer was a week ago, now back to the grotty rain! lol!

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

      Hey, teaches! Wildlife is something that I have valued my entire life, a great passion. I am doing my best to share it with others and show them what they might have been missing. Thanks for dropping in and reading.

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

      Thanks, Eddy I'm glad that you also enjoy then little treks at the lake. There always seems to be a new surprise around the corner.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      You certainly had the perfect day for capturing these beautiful photos. Living in Florida you see a variety of animals but I enjoy the birds above others. Thanks for sharing the simple beauty of life.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant as always Deb .Loved it and voted up.

      Eddy.

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

      Hey, Peg! Thanks for the praise. I do so love those flycatchers, and believe it or not, there are so many different kinds.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This is a fabulous grouping of photos, Deb. I love your humor in describing the Fly-Catcher's action, "doing exactly what their names imply. They don’t have to go far in order to snag unsuspecting small insects on the fly." Outstanding shots.

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

      Hey, Connie! Glad that you liked the latest edition of the Boomer Lake news. There's just so much going on around here now, it is hard to keep up with. For the past two days, it has been over 100 degrees, so it hasn't been too comfortable going out.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Wow Deb! What a lot of activity you've covered this week! I'm glad to see the nests of the scissortails and the orioles. I know there is an oriole nest around here, but have not been able to find it yet. The Hairy woodpecker is raucously guarding a tree out back, so I am sure it is filled with young. Voted this excellent gallery of photos Up+++

      ;) Pearl

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

      One of these days, Mary, I'd like to do a video of Life at Boomer Lake. This is something that have been toying with for a while, so eventually, you will actually see me do this, and show you the live photos. That's all right about the poll, and I know where you stand. Thanks for the visit and the support.

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

      You know, Leslie, an eagle's nest can comfortably fit two people, and it weighs about a ton. Upon occasion, fish and wildlife departments will take weights and measurements on eagle chicks when the parents are away. Workers are lowered into the nest via helicopter. i would give my eye teeth to do that..

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I can't say which I like better, your writing or your photography! They are both wonderful. You explain everything in that down-home tenor and just make it fun to read.

      I couldn't take your little poll because my answer would be birds AND four legged animals. I'm not too thrilled with reptiles but if they leave me alone I'll leave them alone.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interersting.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Good morning Deb! I am LOVING the geese returning - altho - seems a little late this year considering we had snow till like...yesterday! LOL..slight exaggeration..

      one of these days i'm going to see you sitting IN the nest taking pictures from the actual bird's eye view!

      love it!

      sharing..

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

      Yes, Writer Fox, it is my state bird. I wish I didn't work day shift, as these afternoon shots really don't do the birds justice, they look all washed out. Now I am down to one day a week where I can get out in the morning. I'll just have to do the best that I can.

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

      Hey, Alicia! It sure has been fun this season, especially with that pro camera. It's almost like I can get nearly any kind of shot, but I need to know it better.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      These are spectacular photographs! Isn't the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher the state bird of Oklahoma? Stunning photo of that one.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's lovely to read about the spring activities of the Boomer Lake birds, Deb. The photos of the birds in flight are great, too. I always look forward to your Monday reports!

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

      Hey, Nell! Thanks for letting me know that your black birds are characters, too. I had a feeling that it was part of the general gene pool, but now, you have confirmed it. It is now well over 100 degrees F, but I think I'll venture out for photos in a bit. Wish me luck.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, I always love reading about Boomer Lake, and I did smile at your description of the black birds, seems both species over there and here are feisty little things! The Baltimore Oriole is a pretty bird, and I am glad you found it, the photos are always awesome too, lovely hub, nell

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

      Hey, Jill! Thanks, that is my new area in which to work right now. I hope to improve them.

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

      Hey, Gawth! Yes, it sure is interesting. I think now, with the climate changes, be they good or bad, it seems like a lot of animals and birds are in flux. I have never seen so many of them at the lake this year, either.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Wow! Some great in-flight photos. Lovely.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 4 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      Great photos! I just thought I would report to you that while visiting my uncle in Chillicothe, IL (near Peoria on the Illinois River) two weeks ago, my uncle reported he had a nesting pair of Baltimore Orioles. He said it was the first time in the more than 50 years that he lived there that he had seen them in the neighborhood. I thought that was interesting.

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

      Martin, I am shooting for the most difficult shots that I can get, just working on my photographic journey. Glad that you think I'm getting better.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Is it me or are your pictures getting more dramatic. thank you

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

      Hey, Jim! Sorry about your pollen levels. It hasn't been bad here. I'm sure that you miss the ponds and I hope that you can return to them soon.

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

      Hey, Mel! The Great-tailed gGackles here aren't as rude as some. I raised a Common Grackle in PA. He would ride on my shoulder or on my head when I walked the dog. maybe you can do an article on your birds?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Once again interesting stuff. I don't care much for Grackles, I must confess. When I started birding about 14 years ago San Diego was a grackle-free zone, but now they are started to creep in. I am afraid they will drive out all of our friendly Brewer's Blackbirds with their obnoxious, rude behavior. I always enjoy reading about your birds out there and comparing them to what we have here.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      You got some great in-flight photos today Deb! The Scissortails are beautiful! The grass pollen has been so bad here that it is difficult to get outside, so no visits to the ponds recently. Great birding shown here!

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

      I wear a hat every time I go out. I can always position it to help me out, but I don't want to stare into the sun. The best time is when it is fully cloudy. I am constantly readjusting my settings in the scheme of things, but it doesn't always work. I just ordered a birder's vest, so hopefully, I can begin to carry other things with me without being weighted down.

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

      Hey, Billy! I am working on one of the toughest things right now, capturing birds in flight successfully. Like anything else, I must keep practicing it, and it will happen.

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

      Hey, Anna! Great Egret has such an appearance of statliness, calming, and great beauty. It is a credit to its species. Thanks for reading!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You are getting so many good shots there is just no choosing a favorite! Loved your stories. That sun is so bad isn't it although you want sunny days, it seems all the good shots send a glare or many times. I wonder if a hat with a long bill might help some? I use my hand to shade when I can but a hat would be easier although I have a hard time wearing one, I would for better photos! lol

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I swear your pictures are getting better, and I didn't think that was possible. Great visit this week, Deb! Here's hoping it cools down a little bit for you folks.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      Beautiful photographs as always and I love how you gave a close insight into the animal's world.

      My favourite this week was the Great Egret. It looked very beautiful.

      Anna