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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday October 6, 2013
A Newly Discovered Owl?
From the BBC, an owl in Oman may be a new species, discovered in a remote, mountainous region. The bird’s call was heard, while another owl was being recorded. For breaking news, see:
- BBC News - Owl recorded in Oman could be a new species
A team working on a bird call recording project in Oman says it has discovered a new species of owl in the region.
Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch
On Oct. 3, 2013, the Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch in Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada, spotted 60 hawks, the most counted on that day was the Sharp-shinned Hawk. For more information for our Canadian birdwatchers, peruse:
Lights at Night and Birds
Do lights at night affect birds’ melatonin levels, and in turn, their behavior? According to Science Daily, this DOES affect the seasonal processes of birds. See more at:
Hunting Endangered Birds in Pakistan? No Excuse!
Project Sarus Crane is coming to a head in Pakistan. As we speak, friends of birds supporters are angered by a holy bird that has been hunted and killed. Fellow birders, many people consider this not only sacrilegious, but a horrible crime affecting such wonders of nature. I believe that we all need to protect wildlife any way that we can, and lend our assistance to our Pakistani friends:
Does Fog Improve Your Pictures?
A wonderful foggy day lends a note to interesting wildlife shots as an ethereal quality. Not only that, it was harder for the birds to spot me during this anomaly, so I got several interesting shots that you might enjoy during early morning feeding time. Has else anyone noticed that weather conditions like this make it easier to capture birds?
Turkey Vulture Roost
Turkey Vultures were roosting in the Northern Reaches, to the tune of six! I have seen up to four in flight riding the thermals in the past, and considered that interesting, but this many roosting in a tree was even better. I watched for quite some time to see various landings and departures at assorted times, and felt this was a breathtaking event.
Non-Breeding Spotted Sandpiper
Take a look at this wonderful non-breeding Spotted Sandpiper. This one was easy to identify, after having seen those in breeding plumage, and their customary rocking and bobbing movements. This one definitely was a real beauty.
The Double-crested Cormorants have begun arriving at the lake, too. I found one this week, sharing a little quiet space with this Great Egret, whom I caught landing in the same area. I’m still having trouble getting a good shot of this dark bird, and to compound things, this was during the foggy morning that I was out. Sooner or later, I’ll manage to get this shot right.
I had given up hope of getting a nice photo of an Eastern Meadowlark this season, but, as luck would have it, I saw one yesterday evening. Even better, it was on top of a tree that wasn’t out of reach for me. This one is losing its breeding plumage, but nevertheless, it is still a striking bird. I could not forego this shot, even though the sun is in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had to be sure that you had the opportunity to see this beautiful bird for yourselves, especially if you have never had the pleasure.
Great Egret Performs Again
Great Egret is getting used to seeing me, and was trying so hard to get a little breakfast. Here are a couple of shots guaranteed to please, even the most discriminating egret aficionado. Tell me what you think of these.
There is a House Sparrow convention going on in Stillwater, affecting an easy hundred birds. Again, my timing was impeccable for these beauties, who were hiding in a dark tree at the end of the day. Even better, I got an immature male to show you. These little ones are not at all calm in larger groups, constantly on the move. It was no easy feat to get any of these, but what can I say? Lady Luck graced me even more.
The Canada Geese have been rather active. We have inbound and outbound groups in the area, and to be honest, we could well be at the point where we need an air traffic controller for these numerous flights. Is anyone interested in fielding the geese? Oh, I understand. You have your own to handle now.
A Work of Art
Take a look at this striking spidersilk on the foggy day that I was out and about. I have never seen anything this spectacular before. The way the moisture made the web stand out shows the intricacies and wonderful art of this gorgous web. Nature always manages to take my breath away, especially during times like these.
Help Me Help Them
Times of migration are the most difficult and stressful times for the birds. Many birds travel thousands of miles one way, and will try to stop for sustenance, which is the only thing to keep them alive at the last minute. PLEASE keep your cats indoors, as this is when our avian friends are the most vulnerable. They are hungry and very tired. They don't need to be killed by cats, especially during this time when they are not at their best to flee.
Also, make your neighbors aware of this, too. If they don't watch birds, they might not even know that birds migrate. Inform them that birds lives depend on them for this life saving measure. After all, many birds have populations that are dwindling, and it will really help them continue to survive. Every little bit helps, and the birds are depending upon you. They don't have anyone else to look out for them, except those that are aware and informed.
Even a cat wearing a bell is a hazard. Many of them learned that moving very quietly will keep that bell from warning anyone that they are near. Birds don't even know what a bell is for, so they don't know that it is a warning device.
Thanks in advance for your help, in assisting the birds in reaching their destinations. Many of them will perish during this grueling journey, but you will save the other ones.
I could continue, but I think I’ll be off for now. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. We will have more adventures next week, so I will be certain to see you then. Happy birding!
Have you seen any migrating birds yet?
© 2013 Deb Hirt