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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday September 2, 2012

Updated on November 27, 2012
Great Egret
Great Egret | Source
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The Battle!

It has been a beautiful week at Boomer Lake, as the early mornings have been pleasant with temperatures in the mid-70’s. One wants to be inside after that, as the heat creeps up rapidly.

On the way back home a few mornings ago, I saw a Great Egret battling with something in the water, so naturally, I went closer to investigate. Now, don’t tell me that fish and birds are stupid, for I can tell you first hand, that they raise Cain, just as many of us do when the mood strikes. Here are the pictures to prove it, too. If you have ever seen a fish swim around a bird like this, and the bird gives chase, that shows a little intelligence, as well as some degree of hunger. But what does the fish have to gain? This fish was so large, heavy, and slippery, the Great Egret was having trouble getting a purchase on it. It was the most comical thing that I had seen in a long time, and the show lasted a good twenty minutes.

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We Like Trees

This morning was a remarkable day at the lake. There were a couple of dozen egrets here-and-there, and I managed to get seven of them in one photo, but they were rather spread out. Here’s four of them together, and they are not spaced apart in such a manner to look so small that one cannot recognize them.

Here's another four of them in a tree, though there also happened to be seven up there, too. Roosting seems to be quite a pastime around here, as I usually see a few egrets or herons up in the trees every day that I am out at the lake. Granted, it gives them a good view of things, plus they can likely tell if there is something approaching that threatens their well being.

Juvenile Northern Cardinal
Juvenile Northern Cardinal | Source
Adult Male Northern Cardinal
Adult Male Northern Cardinal | Source

Don't Forget Red

The Northern Cardinals were also out this morning and in fairly close proximity, which usually doesn’t happen too often. Luckily, I also saw this beautiful juvenile male that is filling out nicely. Many people are impressed by this bird, especially in the winter. It is always nice to see a beautiful red presence in the midst of snow or ice, and that proves to be one of the prettiest backgrounds for them.

Mallard Drake
Mallard Drake | Source

Mallards and Eclipse Plumage

The Mallard males are still recovering from their eclipse phase, though they are fully flighted and have been for a few weeks now. The eclipse plumage is very dull looking, similar to that of the female. Many male ducks briefly molt in summer. In Oklahoma, some of them are getting their green head feathers back, and will soon have that striking color that they had right around the time that the young hatched from their eggs.

This concludes the sightings on Boomer Lake for the week, as we rapidly progress through most of the summer and fall begins to beckon us closer. I anxiously await the fall lineup of ducks, and perhaps I will be fortunate enough to see some soon, especially since they should be in the company of their entire family, including the recently flighted young. Remember to keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding until next week.

Great Egret in foreground and Great Blue Heron in background
Great Egret in foreground and Great Blue Heron in background | Source
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Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron | Source
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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're right, precy anza! The fish was messing with the egret. I never knew they did that, but I saw it first hand.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Beautiful photos! That's a lot of Egrets. I can imagined that was fun to watch that Egret and the fish :) Probably teasing the bird. ^-^'

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Thanks Deb for the advice on cameras!

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

      I first purchased and still use the Nikon Coolpix L120. It is my first point and shoot, Deb. It is antivibration, but if you plan to shoot wildlife, get a tripod. If you looked at the 4th of July piece, the fireworks were shot with a Nikon d80S, which is on loan from a friend. Wait until cameras go on sale right around Xmas and you will get deep discounts. I ordered mine on line from Best Buy.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      From one Deb bird lover to another Deb bird lover: I enjoyed this Hub and you take some fabulous photos. What camera do you use? I hope to purchase a camera this fall (my Christmas present to myself) and I'd like to know what you recommend for nature pics.

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

      Keep at it, Highland Terrier. You will get better and better every day that you use your camera. You'll understand lighting more and more, and will try to push your camera, the same as I do. Trust me, not all of my pictures are perfect, don't ever think that they are.

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

      The egret will get more fish, you can bet on that. There are a lot of little fish in the lake, as well as some pretty good granddaddys, too.

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

      Hey, Connie! Thanks for visiting the lake with me. It is a pleasure to show it to everyone, as well as its events.

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

      Thanks, Mhatter. I saved those for last, deliberately.

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

      Yes, Nettlemere, the fish took off. It sure was a mouthful for the egret, but I have seen bigger in the lake. They jump out of the water quite frequently and capture bugs.

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

      Glad to hear it, Nell. It is better to be relaxed than not. Boomer Lake does the same thing for me, too.

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

      Thanks, PegCole. Glad to hear it! Looks you you write some good material yourself.

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Another excellent hub. I have to admit to a little envy though. Your photos are very good. I mention this because have been reading your hubs and liking birds, I decided to take some photos of the birds that come to my feeders, it was difficult to say the least. Out of about a 100 photos 3 can been seen as birds. So well done.

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 4 years ago

      I totally agree with billybuc. Your stories really draw the reader in, making us feel as if we are there, experiencing to joys of your journey too. Also..it is so true about cardinals..I just love spotting one when there is snow all around, perhaps it's the contrast. Did the egret ever get the fish? That is too funny how the fish was toying around with it. Rated all up. Wonderful photos!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Those birds look like they are literally dancing on the water for joy! You do such a great job with your photos and narratives. I learn a lot from you always. Voted Up, Awesome, Useful, Beautiful and Interesting. Its such fun to be 'on the lake' with you!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I was going to say, the birds didn't feel like performing; until I saw those last pictures. Bravo

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Did the fish get away? It's huge it looked more suitable for a pelican and impossible for an egret. The are improbable birds themselves - looking at your pictures of them taking off I wonder how they manage to fly at all with their dangley legs and gangley necks!

      I love the cardinals - so different from any UK species.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Beautiful pictures and hub. Thanks for sharing this bit of the outdoors and it is always appreciated to the fullest.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Your experiences on Boomer lake always leave me feeling so relaxed, I love the river, or lakes, and the birds and animals are so special. The Northern Cardinals are beautiful, I wish we had them over here, wonderful. nell

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Your photos are awesome and truly capture the beauty of these amazing creatures. Loved the way you wove the narrative around the events. I love birds too!

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

      Glad to hear it, Billy. I am glad that I am doing what I intended. I WANT people to feel my enthusiasm and see what I do.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So very nice to join you on this journey; thanks for taking me along. The photos are brilliant and your commentary made me feel like I was there with you.