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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday November 25, 2012

Updated on November 26, 2012
The Southern Cove looks like a desert now!
The Southern Cove looks like a desert now! | Source

The Southern Cove has nearly disappeared for lack of rain. All that is left is just a little more than a mud puddle, and the only one visiting now is the Great Blue Heron. He got a very small fish from it, so there is still a bit of food, but there cannot be much more. I don't think any water will be left in a couple of days in the cove.

Yesterday, over the heron’s head was the Krider’s red-tail and to his right was a Cooper’s Hawk. They were watching a couple of Mourning Doves. The funny thing was, they struck together, and one of the Mourning Doves ended up hiding in the red-tail’s original observation spot. Doves two, hawks nothing.

Freshwater Clam
Freshwater Clam | Source
Raccoon Tracks
Raccoon Tracks | Source

Freshwater Clams

I found a couple of whole clams still in the water that a raccoon had been trying to retrieve, both of them rather large. I didn’t see the raccoon, but the tracks were unmistakable.

Female Downy Woodpecker
Female Downy Woodpecker | Source
Male Downy Woodpecker
Male Downy Woodpecker | Source

The Northern Reaches

The Northern Reaches were visited again, and I got fairly good shots of both male and female Downy Woodpecker. There were a number of them in the woods, along with Carolina Chickadees, that were just to darn rapid for me to capture. Every time that I thought I had a good chance for a photo, they’d dart away just as quickly as they had come. Sooner or later, I keep telling myself!

Baldcypress through the fog
Baldcypress through the fog | Source

And the Fog Rolled In...

There was a very heavy fog early Tuesday morning, so I thought that you might enjoy a shot of the lineup of Baldcypresses in fall colors. I’ve been taking every chance for photos whenever the fog comes, as it casts such an ethereal view of things. I also got a few shots of birds in the fog, too, but I will omit those this time.

Western Grebe
Western Grebe | Source

Western Grebe

When the fog lifted, I saw a Western Grebe, all by himself. He didn’t stay long, but all that matters is that it was long enough for me to get a picture. This was another first time for me to see one of these at Boomer Lake. It’s a good looking bird, don’t you think?

Bufflehead Male
Bufflehead Male | Source


Here’s a couple of better photos of the Buffleheads. I observed them for a good half hour today, and you know, it certainly appears that mating rituals are occurring. Males were chasing each other away from a lone female, and there were a number of skirmishes, along with further attempts to seem to win her favor. She seemed to ignore all the males, and just continued on her merry little way. Hey, it’s her choice, so why not make them work a little?


Dark-Eyed Junco

I got a better photo of a Dark-Eyed Junco this week. Today, they kept just ahead of me as I was walking, so I never had a chance to get any more shots of them. They were being very vocal, so it was easy enough to keep their whereabouts. They were just a little too fast for me. It was a little warmer this morning, so that could have had something to do with it. Today was 42 degrees F when I went out, compared to yesterday’s brisk 30 degrees. I was so chilled yesterday, I was having trouble snapping pictures, since my fingers just didn’t want to work.

Greater Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs | Source

Greater Yellowlegs

These are large shorebirds known as the Greater Yellowlegs. There were three of them together at the lake yesterday, and I was trying so hard to get all three of them in one picture. It was so cold, I was having trouble getting these pictures since my fingers didn't want to move. As you can see, I was successful. They disappeared right after I got the photo.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow | Source

Song Sparrow

This is a common bird to these parts in the winter, so that foreboding time of year is nearly here. However, once the winter birds have arrived, it is an entirely different ballgame!

Now I must leave you for the week. Keep your eyes to the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!

Ring-billed Gulls
Ring-billed Gulls | Source
Canada Geese
Canada Geese | Source
Ring-necked Ducks
Ring-necked Ducks | Source


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, precy anza. These birds sure don't want for anything to eat!

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      That bufflehead is beautiful and the downy woodpecker! :) And that clam, brings back some fun memories thou I'm not really into clams or mussels. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wow, those Pelican Patrols sound pretty interesting. Pelicans seem pretty friendly for the most part, since they seem to be so used to people. We had one at Tri-State back in '04. She untied my shoelace once, and would poke people in the butt with her bill. She found a permanent home in florida since she was blind in one eye as a surrogate parent.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Outstanding as always, Deb! I always learn something reading your hubs. We have Dark-eyed Juncos aka Oregon Juncos around in the backyard bushes a lot and some visits by the Spotted Towhee as well. At the coast last weekend I was trying to I D (maybe) a Vireo or something flitting around in the bushes just outside the window, but he moved too much. We did see many Brown Pelicans cruising the surf. Their flight formations are great to watch, like a precision squadron in single file. There were five to ten in each "patrol."

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Lela! Jays sure love their peanuts. A few of them can empty a whole peanut feeder in no time!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Connie, was it the Snow Goose? Take a look at them on-line and let me know.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy! Glasd that you're enjoying the series. I have a blast doing it.

    • CreatePerfection profile image

      CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado


      My husband, Bruce, and I love bird watching and your ariticles with the great pictures are so much fun to read and to view. We have a group of 6 blue jays that visit us several times each day. I throw peanuts out for them and once one of them sees the nuts he sits in the red-bud tree and calls the others over. Wonderful articles you write on birds.

      Thank you and blessings,


    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I have never seen a Greater Yellowleg, let alone heard of them, Deb! Thanks for sharing these marvelous images. I sincerely hope that your Southern Cove receives a much-needed shot of rain soon.

      The other day I witnessed a v-formation I assumed to be geese. However the birds were all white and they made an entirely different sound than I have ever heard before. The count was 15. I know that there are other birds that fly in v-formations. What do you suppose these birds were? Voted Up+

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes a wonderful share on a subject so close to my heart. Have a great day.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Alicia. You should see some of the birds in the fog!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love your Boomer Lake reports, Deb. I look forward to reading them and looking at your latest photos. I enjoyed looking at all the photos in this hub, but I especially like the picture of the baldcypresses in the fog. The picture certainly is ethereal!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      They have a way of doing that, don't they, Nettlemere? I know EXACTLY what you mean.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Aren't they a hoot? I love how they perch on tall grasses and eat the seeds.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, you know that I love having you on the journey, too. We have a number of different kinds of woodpeckers. I'm sure that you do, too.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I chuckled sympathetically at your chickadees moving out of shot all the time - I think they're the equivalents to tits over here - I was trying to get shots of a flock of long tailed tits on Saturday and they evaded me every time - leaving me with pictures of empty twigs.

    • kathyinmn profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from Jordan MN

      I have some of your Junco's at my feeder this week. I am sure they are just a stopping places, but once fed and rested I am sure they will be on thier way. This is the first time I am seeing them in the fall/winter, they are spring time birds for me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You woodpeckers are prettier than ours. I'll see what I can do about sharing some of our rain with you.

      Loved the visit, Deb!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, dear, Martin. What happened?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      They're getting closer, Jeannie!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I find myself house-bound now.

    • profile image

      jeannie Dibble 5 years ago

      Falling in love with the Bufflehead. Love the new shots you captured of this wonderful creature.