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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday March 10, 2013

Updated on March 21, 2013
Canada Goose in Flight
Canada Goose in Flight | Source

The Weather Was and Is in Flux

This week was filled with high winds and clouds for the most part, and even a little rain yesterday, but that didn't deter many of the birds. There were exemplary examples of many of them, including some unusual shots. The weather is in a very unsettled flux at this time, as we begin to head into tornado season for this part of the country. The birds, due to their natural abilities, can tell when bad weather is coming. They are very astute to changes in atmospheric pressure, so if you ever see birds running for cover, I'd do the same if I were you. They will know well before any weather folk can tell you, I guarantee it. If you think this is poppycock, ignore the birds and see what happens. You won't do it again.

Red-shouldered Hawk Mantling His Mouse
Red-shouldered Hawk Mantling His Mouse | Source
Red Shoulder with Food in His Mouth
Red Shoulder with Food in His Mouth | Source
Red Shoulder Temporarily Sated
Red Shoulder Temporarily Sated | Source

Red-shoulder Gives a Lesson in Lunch

Monday was a day of rare beauty and an event that I will never forget. The Red-shouldered Hawk has been coming to visit frequently, and this day was no exception. I was getting a few fabulous shots, and pointed him out to passersby. I turned for a moment to talk to a group of people, and the hawk left. According to one of the people that I was speaking with, the hawk grabbed a mouse. I politely excused myself, and began stalking the hawk. The hawk was immersed in its meal, and paid me no mind. So, here are several shots that none of us will get to see a lot, unless we live near these wonderful creatures. Luckily, the mouse was prey, instead of another bird, which always tends to hurt me deeply. Mice are plentiful on Boomer Lake, and I share no real kinship with them.

American White Pelican
American White Pelican | Source

On Wednesday, a couple of Great White Pelicans were resting on Goose Island. At first, the Canada Geese were not happy with their presence. The pelicans meant no harm, which the geese soon discovered to be true, and left them alone. However, they still demanded to be in the pictures with the pelicans, as some of them are not camera shy. At least one pelican has shown itself on-and-off all through the winter, even though it was rather cold at times.

Ring-billed Gull with a stick
Ring-billed Gull with a stick | Source

I don't know if anyone has ever seen a Ring-billed gull carrying a stick around over the water, but that was observed this week. For the life of me, I am completely unable to figure out why the gull would do that. Perhaps it was bored, and that was something to do, I don't know. Has anyone else ever seen an odd expression like that? If so, do let me know, for I am curious.

Scaup Getting Ready to Dive
Scaup Getting Ready to Dive | Source
Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Duck | Source
American Coot
American Coot | Source

Ducks and American Coots

There are still plenty of ducks around throughout the day. I have been observing them feed, sleep, and play on the water. With the choppy water, they haven't been getting much rest around here, which I'm sure is not a problem for them. Our crowd of American Coots are rapidly increasing, and this year, I will be watching for nests on the shoreline, as well as potential nesting activity. I would love to get some shots of some young ones this year, and who knows, I might just be lucky enough to do that. I also need to get to the Northern Reaches, and perhaps walk around the Great Blue Heron rookery, and see what I can spot for you out there, since the water table is still relatively low.

Stillwater residents--the city workers put up the martin houses on Friday, so we'll be waiting for that influx this year. It won't be long!


A Great Magazine that I Just Started to Receive

I bid you goodbye for today, but keep your head in the clouds and your eyes to the ground. Happy birding until next week, and don't take any fish from a pelican!

Source
Canada Goose in Flight
Canada Goose in Flight | Source
Mallard Pair
Mallard Pair | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      To my understanding, I am under the impression that gulls breed up north, on the coast, but I could be wrong. However, I have no evidence otherwise, I just don't know.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Thank you for sharing us the photos! I enjoyed the week's treat, watching the hawk have a lunch :) So what did it had for dessert? ^-^' Wish I could see what happened to that stick with the gull. Maybe a toy stick, that would be fun to watch mama gull having the stick for.... young gulls?)

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Highland Terrier! Yes, I'd rather see the hawk eat something else, but was still grateful that it wasn't a bird. Enough of that tends t happen. Good to see you!

    • profile image

      Highland Terrier 5 years ago

      Nice work, always a pleasure. I pity the poor mouse but the hawk must eat as well. Nature is just cruelity itself, we just have to life with it till something better comes our way.

      Always a pleasure.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I guess anything is possible, Jim. Maybe they just want to see how the other half lives. It could be as simple as that.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      That is the odd thing. It is very Spring-like here, 56 degrees today, there ought to be plenty of food all over. Maybe he was just passing by.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Jim. Interesting that they are coming down from the hills. Maybe lack of food? If you hear anything, let me know.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Deb, thought I' let you know that this morning a Stellar's Jay came by the back yard feeder. Since we live in the flat part of the area, those big crested jays are usually up in the hills. I have never seen one in the yard before.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Jim, thanks. Glad that you're enjoying the pictures.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This is one for the record book Deb! Outstanding pics of the hawk and the pelican too. Could that gull with the stick be using ir for nesting material? Great hub as always!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I'm more than lucky, Alicia. The birds tend to perform for me. I always get something whenever I am out.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The best time for birds is usually between 8 and 9 am, then again for dinner, which is before dark. There are always exceptions to the rule, as you will find, but that is just general data. As the temperature rises, you could find this to be especially true, except when the babies arrive. Then they will be around at all hours, as those hungry babies never stop in their demands.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You have such great patience when taking bird photos, Deb, and you take the photos at just the right time! I love the picture of the pelican, and the picture of the gull carrying the stick is very interesting.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Really liked many of these. I have seen birds carrying sticks for nests but I haven't been observing ducks etc for very long but still that would be my guess. Birds are so much like other things you see after awhile I think. They eat, bathe, scratch, clean, preen and just remind me of puppy dogs sometimes. I went out to shoot a few things yesterday but the flowers looked more interesting. It was nap time for the ducks and geese and I don't see birds around that lake, strange, huh?

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Nell! There's always something good out there, you just have to keep an eye out.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Your photos are awesome as usual, love the third from the bottom, goose in flight? I loved the hawk, that must have been a great thing to see, another lovely hub from Boomer Lake, voted up! nell

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hi, Pam! It is great to finally meet you, as ghost talks so much about you. He is such a great man and writes wonderful material. Congrats on your new computer and have fun on the virtual library!

    • profile image

      Pamdora 5 years ago

      Deb, my husband (Ghost32) has asked me over to his computer to show me some of your outstanding pictures before, but now that I've got my own computer (he got me a laptop for Valentine's Day), I have no excuse not to drop by.

      I'd a lot rather the hawk get a mouse than another bird, too. We have a lot of red tailed hawks here.

      Voted Up and More.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, Connie, I have never seen gulls nesting. They nest in the cooler climates, especially off the islands in Maine. When the water and pelagic birds nest, the islands are closed off to people. Those pelicans are characters, that's for sure.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, again, Billy! That flying away shot was from another hawk sighting. When I left him he was still with his mouse.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, I am in awe of your photos of the red shouldered hawk and its mouse meal! Absolutely awesome.

      Could it be that the gull was trying to impress a possible mate with its abilities to find and carry nesting materials? Do they use sticks in their nests like ravens and crows do?

      I loved the pelican with its head pointing straight up to the sky like it was laughing at the geese! Wonderful job as always. Voted Up Across the Board ;)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The pictures of the hawk are stunning....is that next to last picture of the hawk flying away? Incredible shot! I agree with you that animals and birds know when the weather is changing long before weathermen know and we should pay attention. Great visit, Deb!

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