Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday, March 24, 2013
The Groundhog was Wrong!
Punxatawny Phil lied about an early spring. This year, for the first time that I know about, March came in like a lamb and is exiting like a lion. As I sit inside after a very hot shower, the wind is whipping around me like a terror. There are 20 to 30 mph winds today, and that is no springtime day, especially with the dusting of snow on the ground. What gives? Early in the week I had 80 degree temperatures, and spring birds were coming in. The first day of spring sure didn’t feel like it, either.
BUT let me tell you what I have seen this week. I was surprised by the sight of a Northern Shrike, which I have never seen before. It was perched at the top of Mockingbird Tree surveying the eastern part of the lake, where it had the perfect view of everything. With the sounds coming from this bird, I thought at first that it was Himself, until I saw that black mask, so I used my lens, and lo and behold! Here was my discovery.
Painted Turtles at Large
Painted turtles were everywhere on the lake, too. There were large and small ones, piled on top of one another, as they were sunning on a few available logs. They were even clamoring over each other trying to suck up that delicious warmth of the sun. A few would even fall back in the water, but that was not a deterrent, for they would just climb over the same turtles, dropping back in the water repeatedly.
Lots of Ducks
Ruddy Ducks were gathering with Buffleheads, Lesser Scaups, and Redheads, some of which were rather close to the shoreline. With the significant breezes that blew, they were bobbing up and down in the water, wave after wave being created, ebbing and flowing, just like the wake from a passing motorboat. Yet there were no boats in the silence.
The Red-shouldered Hawk sat atop the martin house on the eastern side of the lake, keeping a close watch just below it. The starlings have investigated it, and one actually flew out of it, as the hawk left and perched in the same spot, just like a proud sentry.
A lone Western Meadowlark, not yet in breeding plumage, silently peeked from the reeds and rushes near one of the haunts of the Red-winged Blackbird. This area last year was also home to marsh rabbits, Brown Thrashers, and the Eastern Meadowlark for a short time. It was silent, blending so well with the scenery, I very nearly missed seeing it, save for a short burst of yellow.
Some of the Canada Geese have spread onto the mainland, some still undecided where they’d like to live this season, most likely first years. Goose Island has been far from silent, a great deal of activity there. The single Great White Pelican duly ejected, it paddled about the area trying to find a small piece of real estate there. There was no chance that it would be allowed on the island.
One Year Ago on Boomer Lake
- Life at Boomer Lake with Deb on Saturday, March 24, 2012
This is a synopsis of wildlife and birds both in and around Boomer Lake Park, located in the city of Stillwater, OK. It also gives general facts about them as well. This could be a weekly article.
It will warm up again, soon enough, I promise. There will be more secrets around the lake that will show themselves, and we shall have to keep watch for the new home of the Red-bellied Woodpecker. In the meantime, keep your head in the clouds and your eyes to the ground. It is officially spring, whether or not it feels like it. I’ll talk to you again next week, and by cracky, the snow will be gone. Happy birding!