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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday September 29, 2013
The Delaware Bay has had a number of problems since the Athos I oil spill of ’04, which devastated the horseshoe crab ecology. Last fall, when Superstorm Sandy hit the area, the substrate was exposed, which could threaten the lives of this shell fish now. If the substrate is not correct, the crabs will not spawn. How will this affect hundreds of thousands of migratory birds? Read more at National Wildlife:
Horseshoe Crabs in Delaware Bay this Year?
- Shorebirds' Fate Hinges on Horseshoe Crabs - National Wildlife Federation
Along the coast of Delaware Bay, thousands of migratory birds depend on horseshoe crabs laying their eggs there, an annual event besieged by modern threats
Warblers Migrating Now
Warblers are migrating now throughout much of the US and southern Canada. Dig out your cameras and binoculars for some of the most lovely birds now, according to Stokes:
Kenn Kaufman Discusses Fall Migration
September begins the season for fall migration, and you have the opportunity to listen to a pre-recorded broadcast from birding expert, Kenn Kaufman. He is the author of The Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America, as well as The Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding. Hear some noteworthy tips and get the most from the migration in your area, courtesy of Science Friday:
Actual Radio Discussion with Kenn Kaufman
- Birding the Fall Migration
Birding tips on how to get the most out of the fall bird migration.
Birding Doesn't Have to Cost a Lot
Are you one of “The Big Birders” or a backyard birder that might venture into the field once in a while to see what is out there? This story will appeal to one and all, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy nature, unless you want to do it:
Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle
The big story of the week is about the immature Red-tailed Hawk spotting a Bald Eagle. My little buddy from last week was hovering near a tree, and I was just setting up my camera and tripod for a spectacular shot. A Bald Eagle was scouring the lake looking for a possible fishing opportunity, but the red-tail wasn’t going to take any chances. He actually moved northerly twice, and the eagle was still in view the second time. Sadly, the red-tail is no longer near the lake, but has instead relocated to a stand of trees about a quarter mile away. However, I managed one more striking shot before the disappearance. I never knew hawks feared eagles, but evidently, he felt like he was a part of the possible food chain. After all, eagles are a lot bigger than hawks.
Young Mourning Doves
I also found some young Mourning Doves at the lake. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch mom feeding all four of her charges, but two of the babies enjoyed being photographed at fairly close range. Do you think that we can say that a star is born?
There was another rare sighting of a Cattle Egret, and once again, I was in the right place at the right time. Every time I see this bird, I have to be amused, for we share the same color hair/headdress! Perhaps silly things like this make my world go around, but I just can’t help it, as far as this bird is concerned.
Great Egret and Great Blue Heron
Great Egret and Great Blue Heron are still in the area, both surveying the lake and partaking of the fish within. A dozen were together on the same day that the Bald Eagle was here, and I had wondered if they were migrating south and intended to take the Boomer Lake clan with them. This time they were not successful, but the egrets will leave eventually. They just weren’t ready yet.
Several species of butterflies have been cohabitating on the butterfly tree off the northern jetty near Goose Island. Not only are the butterflies on the same tree, they have been sharing real estate with a few Japanese beetles and their larvae, as well as some wasps. Talk about diversity! I’m surprised that the birds haven’t been hanging around more than usual, to pick up this fine feast. Who’s to know?
Where Did You Say Boomer Lake Is?
For several days, hordes of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers have been parading around the weeds on the outskirts of the lake, as well as a certain tree near the former Baltimore Oriole habitat. Try as I might, due to their high speed, I have still been unable to get a photo of an adult. It appears that I was very fortunate to get that photo of the youngster several weeks ago.
This picture-perfect shot of this male Red-winged Blackbird in flight could not have been any better. I was rather pleased with the way the rays of the sun fell upon him at the precise moment that the shot was captured. It was truly fabulous luck. These birds have been a bit scarce, and it appears that some have already left for the season.
The Northern Cardinals have gone back into hiding, the American Robins have left for parts unknown or nearby neighborhoods, and the Blue Jays are still on the outskirts of the lake as always. They come to the Northern Reaches, but for some reason, they don’t seem to care for the fare at the lake. Perhaps there are too many people there for the likes of them.
Most of the Mallards are close to being out of their eclipse mode, save for a few more feathers, but most of them are now in flight. Most of this season’s ducklings are nearly full grown, too.
Another American Coot has shown up, and we’ll see how long that this one decides to stay. Last night, temperatures were in the 50’s, and I believe that seasonal weather is going to make an attempt to try to stay with us. My eyes are peeled for new visitors, and as soon as I see some, I will shout it from the rooftops.
All good things must come to an end, which means that I must be on my way this week. Keep your head in the clouds and your eyes on the ground. Happy birding!
© 2013 Deb Hirt