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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday May 5, 2013

Updated on May 5, 2013
American Golden-Plovers
American Golden-Plovers | Source

American Golden-Plovers

Just like the rest of you all over the world experiencing fluctuating weather, never fear. It is still happening to me. But, it sure is not a deterrent for the wonderful birds of the world. As a matter of fact, birds that shouldn’t be in my area are, the prime example, the American Golden-Plovers. Two were in winter plumage, and the third was starting to change over to his breeding plumage. This bird is a long distance migrant and cruises at sixty mph, covering literally thousands of miles per year. Its nesting grounds are the Arctic tundra, and it winters as far away as Argentina. Normally, when it stops over in the US for a breather, it is generally around the Chicago area, but as luck would have it, it came to our Boomer Lake. Even better, I happened to be there when they were.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird | Source

Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird also is back in our area for the season. As some of you will recall, I wrote a piece on the comparison of the Eastern and Western Kingbirds last year. The handsome eastern variety is the King of the Tyrants, will bravely land on the backs of hawks and other birds that want to eat its eggs and young, pecking and pulling on their feathers. I personally don’t consider that evidence of a tyrant. It shows that they are simply protective over what is theirs. Don’t you agree?

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole | Source

Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole was trilling his beautiful song in an oak tree this week, and it just so happens that he wanted everyone that reads this column to have a look at his lovely countenance. He came out of the thick leaves and paraded himself right in front of the camera just for you. The male happens to be the only bright orange and black oriole north of Florida.

Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper | Source

Spotted Sandpiper

The Spotted Sandpiper appears to be staying with us for a while on several locations on the lake. It is the most widespread and best known sandpiper on the continent. It is famous for standing with its tail up and its head down, teetering its little body.


Wilson's Phalarope

Another strikingly beautiful water bird, the Wilson’s Phalarope, was seen on Friday just north of Veteran’s Memorial, if any of the Stillwater residents wants an exact date. Both he and she were seen in the late afternoon. These are very interesting birds who fish in a way that works well for them. Phalaropes will spin like tops—as quickly as sixty times a minute—creating little whirlpools that pull plankton and other good food to the water’s surface, where they can just pick it up with their long, slender bills. What a way to gather a quick snack, but it works.

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit | Source

Marsh Rabbit

I finally got a photo of the “Speedy Gonzalez” of bunnies, the marsh rabbit. This time, I let him think that I hadn’t seen him, so he stayed very still for this wonderful photo opportunity. This is a handsome example of rabbitdom, but unfortunately, I didn’t capture that beautiful white tail. Perhaps next time that can occur.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal | Source

Blue-winged Teal

The Blue-winged Teal is also in the area, and here is a fine example of the male. Perhaps this year a pair will nest on the lake, and maybe I can get some duckling photos for my loyal readers. Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck on that.

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants | Source

Double-crested Cormorants

Again, a large group of Double-crested Cormorants gathered on Goose Island. I will wager to state that at least fifty were in attendance. Here’s a shot of a couple of them in flight, as well as a nice group photo. The early morning sun happened to catch their colors so nicely, along with that nice orange-yellow bill. I don’t see any of them wearing their crests yet, but I would think that they are ready to breed fairly soon.


Spring, But...

The wildflowers are coming up, the grass is greening up nicely, and definite signs of spring staying are apparent. I actually had to pull out my winter jacket a couple of times earlier in the week, but I am convinced that it is done with now. Maybe.

This is all that I have to tell you right now, so do keep your head in the clouds and your eyes to the ground. Happy birding until next week. What uncommon birds have you seen in YOUR areas?

Purple Martin
Purple Martin | Source
Canada Goose with Goslings
Canada Goose with Goslings | Source
Canada Gosling
Canada Gosling | Source
American Coot
American Coot | Source


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Just to warn you, they do all kinds of strange things during mating season. You will see them doing back flips on the powerlines, too.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, I started to say I thought it was a Mockingbird. I was in a car and still it was as if he were putting on a show just for me, kind of looking over his shoulder at me while backing up and that sounds as big of a tail as the children have told me but it was how it seemed. lol

      I will try to be ready next time.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Was it a Northern Mockingbird, Jackie? They display quite a bit. You must always consider everything that birds do a photo opportunity. Don't let them mesmerize you, but instead, record the event for posterity, just in case it's a long time before the same thing happens again. You'll get used to seeing it and reacting to it. Hope that you're having good luck with your planting, and you'll have to tell about your garden.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Sorry to be so ate getting here this week. Been busy planting when not taking care of business, think I owe everyone a visit. Great pictures again and harder to choose a favorite each time. I had a bird flashing me his wings like nothing I have ever seen and I did not get one shot. I was just shocked and staring! There was white inside the wings when he opened them and danced backwards. So beautiful. He did it two or three times like taunting me while my camera dangled....

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, precy anza. Thjere is always a surprise in store at the lake. I just need to keep my eyes open to find it. I just walk along a small part of the lake. It is actually 5 km all the way around it, so it is pretty good sized.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      5 years ago from USA

      Totally enjoyed it Avian ^-^' Those golden-plovers sure is a treat. And love the bright color of the oriole. And I didn't expected I would come across with the "Speedy Gonzales." Lol. My client used to call me that. :) I am glad that marsh rabbit posed for a shot. Beautiful! And even the goslings. Up and shared!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      They are gorgeous, Alicia. Yesterday at the Northern Reaches, I found the Orchard Oriole.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There is such a wide variety of birds at Boomer Lake. I can see why you love to visit it! The Baltimore Oriole is a beautiful bird.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for all the great well-wishes, Connie. There is a wonderful trumpet shaped bush near one of the martin houses that the hummingbirds like, but it just turned green. That tells me that I will soon have vireos and hummers there once the flowers come. It is turning into a great spring.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Deb! That Baltimore Oriole is fabulous--can't wait until they make their appearance here. And that should be soon now. I've already set up the nectar and fruit feeders for them. I filled them yesterday again with fresh oranges and nectar. I also left them 6" pieces of cotton string and thin twine. The female had a blast collecting what I left for her last year.

      Hooray! My ruby-throats are back! I had hung out the nectar feeders last week just in case they showed up--and they did!

      Loved the picture of the Canada goslings. Ya know, the municipalities that find them a nuisance should create a park just for them. One for the humans and one for the geese so they don't bother each!

      Awesome pics and commentary as always. Voted Up++++


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Anna! Thanks for coming to the lake and enjoying it with me. There are a number of Canada goslings now. The Mallards should be planning for little ones, too.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Johan. I'm glad to hear that some bird populations are on the upswing. There are so many animals becoming extinct, it is nice to get a positive message.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Susan! The lake is one of my favorite places to be. I spent nearly four hours there today, a good part at the Northern Reaches. lots of birds are hiding out there.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Another good hub.

      I totally agree with you that the Eastern Kingbirds ae merely protecting their own.

      Very interesting and great photos.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Another great article. Here in South Africa winter is approaching and so some of the birds are leaving. News from the S.A.Bird Atlassing program is that some birds are increasing in numbers in the region(i.e Acacia Pied Barbet), perhaps due to better farming practices that had improved vegetation-some good news.

    • Vacation Trip profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Great hub with beautiful pictures of the birds. I really enjoyed reading your hub Deb. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Jim. It certainly was a good lineup of wonderful birds again this week. Can't wait to hear more on your birds, too.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      What a bonanza Deb! Very impressive group you have assembled here. What an amazing tale of that Wilson's Phalarope, completely new to me.

      Great Hub! (Again)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, KrisL, it could well happen. It certainly is easy enough around these parts, where the birds are more frequent than people. However, it was a bit busy around the lake today.

    • KrisL profile image


      5 years ago from S. Florida

      Thanks again for a beautiful hub, Deb.

      You may make a birder of me yet!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Suhail. Lots of places don't want the Canada Geese around. I'm glad that they don't mind them here at the lake. The citizens here seem to like them.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Billy! Glad to hear that you are now on the back end of spring. It will be warmer here soon, but at least the cooler weather kept the tornadoes away.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Beautiful picture of that Baltimore Oriole. I wonder why it isn't donning her uniform yet.

      Btw, those Canadian Geese are considered a nuisance in the Greater Toronto Area and the municipalities opt for painting their eggs with oil soon after they are laid in order to put a stop to the fertility.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The oriole is sure a beautiful bird.

      No fluctuating weather here, Deb. We have serious sunshine here for the next ten days. Spring is suddenly summer. :)

      Thanks for a great day at the lake my friend.


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