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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday, March 24, 2013

Updated on March 25, 2013
Mallard Hen
Mallard Hen | Source

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.

Northern Shrike
Northern Shrike | Source

Northern Shrike

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
Painted Turtles | Source

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.

Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Duck | Source
Female Lesser Scaup(Top) and Redhead(Bottom)
Female Lesser Scaup(Top) and Redhead(Bottom) | Source

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.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk | Source

Red-shouldered Hawk

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.

Western Meadowlark
Western Meadowlark | Source

Western Meadowlark

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.

Canada Goose Vocals
Canada Goose Vocals | Source

Canada Geese

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.

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!

Red Eared Slider Turtles
Red Eared Slider Turtles | Source
Canada Goose Landing
Canada Goose Landing | Source
Mallard Drake Bathing
Mallard Drake Bathing | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, precy anza. Our eyes can play tricks on us sometimes. Everything is gearing up on the lake, so I will be out doing things there as much as I can.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Enjoyed this week's treat :)....... the shrike and the meadowlark. For some reason, those three turtles on the left log looks to me like a man in a helmet climbing the log. I have to really look and enlarged the photo. Lol. My imagination ^-^'

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

      Thanks, KoffeeKlatch. I'm waiting on a filter for an even better lens right now. and I just can't wait to see what that one will do.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Beautiful pictures.

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

      And thank you, ChitrangadaSharan. The beauty of nature is free for the taking, and what a fabulous show.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Lovely pictures of lovely creatures. It is so wonderful to experience the beauty of Nature from such close quarters.

      Nice and beautiful presentation, thanks.

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

      Kim, I am having a ball. Wait until I get the filter for the new lens, then I will be out with that. Heavier yes, but better pictures of the ducks, which are so much further away.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      The first day of spring didn't feel as such here either. Your lake is beautiful I can understand why you love your bird watching ^_^

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

      Thanks, Nell! One of the city trucks was at the lake while I was there today getting a number of shots of a Belted Kingfisher. I got this bird in dives where he got a tiny fish and he spiralled up in the air and flew of to another tree. These are the things that make my love for nature abound, that make me want to shout it all from the rooftops. If only the local paper would listen and publish this stuff, so the citizens of Stillwater could see it, too.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      What a fantastic photo of the Canadian goose landing! Wow! I love your Boomer Lake hubs they always make me smile, voted up and shared!

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

      Thanks, dreamseeker! I am so glad that you could stop by to take a look at the lake and the beauty within. Wait until you see the pictures that I got today, I was very fortunate.

    • profile image

      dreamseeker2 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos, Deb. : ) Thanks for sharing your lake with us! Wow, very nice. Will have to be back to read more of your hubs. Voted up and awesome!

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

      Well said, epigramman. The lake, if you will, is a respite for me, and my denizens all perform their roles. It it never the same, which tends to be the most uplifting thing of all.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Well reading and looking at this grand hub presentation and obvious labor of love, I thought yes, great minds really do think alike, lol.

      Everything about your stirring words to the beautiful images seemed like a mirror reflection to me as I have all of this at my lake as well and each day is like a new day and I never get tired of it. Amen.

      I am sending sincere warm wishes to you from Colin and his cats who also sense that a prelude to spring is in the air, let's hope, although I don't mind the beauty of the four seasons here at lake erie time ontario canada 5:14pm

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Your welcome. I love birds and thought that the link would interest you. I have a quaker parrot named Skittles and a red-headed mexican amazon named Tiki at home in my menagerie and they definitely keep me entertained.

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

      klidstone, thanks so much for including that link for me. I have never seen a snowy in real life, but I have been through St. Catharine's via Greyhound enroute to Toronto. Yes, I am thrilled when I see a new bird to me here.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Absolutely stunning! I cannot tell you enough how beautiful your pictures are. We were lucky here in St. Catharines to have a snowy owl hanging around the corner from me for a few weeks with another one sighted not too far off as well. The road was lined daily with people itching to catch a glimpse and he didn't disappoint. It was a wonderful experience and I bet you feel the same way when at the lake.

      http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2013/01/04/dont...

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

      Hey, Peg! Glad that you like this week's edition! Those are red-eared sliders and not painted turtles, eh? Thanks for the tip! I never realized it, and I will change things accordingly.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Quite enjoyable pictures of these incredible creatures. I love the goose landing pic and the red-eared sliders are so neat. We had a few that we raised in a 100 gal aquarium before they went native and returned to a local pond. They loved to dry out and soak up some 'sun' on a rock under the lamp.

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

      Hey, Jill! It's going to be late gardens this year, I think. The wind is screaming around the house right now in a fit of pique. Not much longer now!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Like a lion indeed! There's snow outside here right now! And just this weekend we were working in the gardens. Your photos as always are stunning, especially the shrike. I love to see turtles sunning, too. So sweet! Shared & voted up. Take care, Jill

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

      Connie, there are not enough words to say how I felt when I saw the Northern Shrike. I am always thrilled when I see another bird that I have never seen before. There are just so many of them that make their appearances around here. Even old friends have a way of making that appearance and that look of recognition, like when the Green Heron saw me looking at an other bird instead of him, and he was two feet away and croaked at me. That's why I adore this lake so much.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, these are absolutely awesome pictures! I have never seen a Northern Shrike before. How excited were you to see it in person for the first time? Loved the picture of that almost-totally camouflaged Western Meadowlark; and those crazy painted turtles are something else. They need some more driftwood on which to sun themselves, don't they?

      Excellent image of the Canada Goose landing--I could almost feel the cold water hit its webbed feet! This was a very enjoyable visit to the Lake once again; thanks for sharing.

      I have hope that spring is just around the corner because I saw and heard my first 2 robins this morning!

      Connie

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

      Hey, Cris, good to see you, as always. I was at the lake for a short while today in the wind. I saw many ducks, and even managed to get one picture, b ut the wind was blowing in my eyes. I will try again tomorrow. It will get better. The Ruddies will still be there, with those beautiful stiff tails.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      What a refreshing hub! Beautiful as always. Love all the photos.

      Say hello to Ruddy Ducks!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      What refreshing hub! Beautiful as always. Love all the photos.

      Say hello to Ruddy Ducks!

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

      Still windy and pretty chilly here, Alicia. I got one photo today, as the stiff breeze was blowing right in my eyes. Even the Great Blue Heron didn't want to stay under these conditions. It will get better.

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

      Thanks, Eddy! The "kids" seem to perform for me sometimes, especially my little Mallard couple. I will be awaiting the remainder of the inbound.

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

      Wow, Jackie that would have really been something. At least you got a piece of the action.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      We had snow showers on the weekend, which reminded me of winter, but today is beautifully sunny and warm. The weather is strange! Thanks for another enjoyable report about Boomer Lake, Deb. I hope you continue these reports for a long time. The bird photos are lovely, and I enjoy looking at other animals too, like the turtles.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh so beautiful once again Deb;I love this series and the photos are amazing. You know how much nature means to me and I can assure that these hubs of yours are a real treat. Voted up and shared and here's wishing you a great day.

      Eddy.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Well I looked for this yesterday and could not find it! Better late than never! I cannot believe "they" whoever they are; are claiming we had an extra warm winter. It is going to be the first of April before it is spring here and that is a lot of lost days! Love your goose landing, we can see him putting on the brakes. I captured a turtle laying eggs and covering them a couple summers ago, did get a few shots. Missed the hatching though although I tried to be there a lot around that time. Wouldn't that be something? I have seen it on TV at oceans but this would have been down a hill from a parking lot.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Martin, you'll always be at the lake as long as I am. Here's looking at the arrival of more spring birds once the weather finally settles.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh-oh...sounds like this is going worldwide! But the consolation is, Highland Terrier, that things will improve soon. Thanks for enjoying the weekly visit, and we'll be back at it again next week.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Reporting in, as usual. Thank you for taking me around the lake.

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      It is absolutely freezing here in Ireland, its our coldest March for sixty years. Snow and ice are forecast for the coming week.

      Another excellent hub and very interesting photos.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I don't know, Nettlemere, it has been a strange couple of years regarding the weather. I hope that it calms down eventually, for everything seems to be just so chaotic. The shrike encouraged me, for perhaps I will see something new again soon.

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

      Hey, whonu! Yes, it will warm up soon. Glad to see you!

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

      The only birds that were probably out and about today were the water birds. I'm sure that the rest were under cover with these high winds. Thanks for visiting, Billy. Looks like we still have several days of cool weather coming, but not like today.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Lucky you seeing the shrike! I'm quite jealous.

      We have the same sort of spring here 3 or 4 inches of snow fell over the weekend, but the wind is so strong and continuous that there are drifts of 4-6 feet. In all my life I've not known a March with so much snow.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Nice pictures, and it brings warm thoughts of a bright sunshine and spring days ahead. Thanks for the foresight. whonu

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The weather has a mind of its own, Deb. We had snow showers two days ago, and today we'll see sixty and sunshine. Weird for sure! Thanks for the visit at the lake. I always enjoy getting together with you and our feathered friends.