Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Thursday June 26, 2014
Four Years Later...
Four years later, tar mats are still showing up in FL due to BP oil. This is an additional four years that animals are suffering from this needless event. Thanks to the diligence of this cleanup crew, things are happening, even though it is so late…
- A 1,000-pound BP tar mat found on Fort Pickens beach
Coast Guard-led cleanup crew is removing large BP tar mat found on Fort Pickens beach.
Wind Power Hazards
Renewable energy can and will work, if we take precautions. I believe a cage around propellers for wind generation just might be the ticket. Let’s see what we can do to help birds:
The courtship dance of Australia’s Bowerbird is certain to amaze and captivate you. This bird can build many interesting bowers(a shady dwelling), tailor made, with very interesting and unusual attributes. Welcome to this segment of the world of nature.
- The Sultry Dance of the Bowerbird - YouTube
A brightly-colored male bowerbird mesmerizes a young female with his bizarre dance.
The Cardinal and Thrasher Big Year
The perfect medley with sun is sufficient rain, and we have been having excellent combinations of both. The birds are happy with sufficient food, insects as well as flora. This is about the best year that I have seen for an assortment of birds. There are also plenty of Purple Martins that assist with keeping down the pest population--mosquitos, gnats, and black flies--in wet areas. We are inundated with Northern Cardinals and Brown Thrashers this season, and to me that indicates strong health of the lake. Temperatures are not as high as they were in 2013, so it has been very comfortable.
Immature Red-shouldered Hawk
A juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk was spotted in a nearby park with a nest and a youngster, perhaps two. The young one has fledged, a beautiful specimen. Last year at around this time, there were three red-shoulders visiting our lake and it was a wonderful opportunity for a number of photographs.
Great Egret in Breeding Plumage
A Great Egret also came by, in magnificent breeding plumage. Several of them have been noticed in the Northern Reaches, cohabitating with the Great Blue Herons, which is not unusual. There is also at least one pair of Green Herons that tend to visit the Southern Cove and share that space with the resident Great Blue Heron.
Young Mallards and Canada Geese
We still have plenty of Mallard ducklings and Canada goslings, but less Geese than we have had in the past. The ages of these birds varies, as we have some very young, as well as those that are almost as large as their parents. They still have a little of those fluffy down feathers, but are nearly classed as adults now.
Area residents have encountered a number of Eastern Bluebirds and Eastern Phoebes, most of the bluebirds having fledged already.
There are also Common and Great-tailed Grackles, many of which are residing in the area of the Southern Cove. They are sharing space with numerous Purple Martins, who have several young.
There are at least three active Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nests, and I managed to get a shot of the mother on this nest of eggs this morning. Last season’s nest had been blown apart by high winds, but she managed to build herself a little creation from what was left a few days. The rest of the nests on the east side of the lake seem to be a little ahead of this one, but I haven’t heard any sounds of life emanating from them yet.
Northern Mockingbird vs. Brown Thrasher
An amusing item was seen this morning on the high wires. I expected to see a couple of mockingbirds bantering back and forth, and was surprised to see a competition between the Brown Thrasher and the Northern Mockingbird. Both are very eloquent mimics, and they were trying so hard to outdo each other. Needless to say, it brought a smile to my face. About the best thing that I have ever seen was a mockingbird mimicking a Baltimore Oriole. Once they came face-to-face, the irritated oriole left in a great huff. By the way, most of the orioles are located at the Northern Reaches. I located a group of them there this morning, enjoying a few mulberries. There are a couple of them on the main part of the lake, but nothing like in 2013.
Cost Effective and Natural Weed Killer
Here’s a natural week killer, but it might take a little more work than Monsanto’s Roundup. But the good news is, that it’s a lot more inexpensive and it will not kill birds and butterflies. Boil a few cups of water and put it in a tempered container with 1/2 cup vinegar. Pour it directly on the weeds daily until they die. The boiling water will cook the roots of the weeds. But be careful, as it will cook the roots of your plants, too.
That wraps up the news this week. Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!
Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK
© 2014 Deb Hirt