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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Updated on December 17, 2013
Tufted Puffin
Tufted Puffin | Source

Field Notes

Here’s the interactive map of the Pacific coast birds and animals on the move. Do enjoy, and keep abreast of what might be coming soon to your area.

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl | Source

Prolific Snowy Owl Irruptive Year

This winter will be one of the most prolific Snowy Owl irruptions in years. See the stats and check to see if the Snowys could be in your area.

Falcated Teal
Falcated Teal | Source

Pakistani Birding News

The rare Falcated Teal has been seen in Pakistan, one of the hottest birding spots in the world. My day will be coming soon enough to bring you my report from this country, along with new friends that I have been corresponding with for quite some time. Nowhere are there are more generous and kinder folk than in the east. I proudly encourage you to read

Superb Lyrebird
Superb Lyrebird | Source

Superb Lyrebird of Australia

One of the most remarkable birds that I know lives in Australia. If you have never witnessed the incredible mimicry of the Superb Lyrebird, you have missing a great deal. This remarkable bird can imitate more than 20 bird species in one song. Educate yourself here

Canada Geese in Flight
Canada Geese in Flight | Source

Birds and the Perils of Winter

Many wonderful birds are at Boomer Lake for your viewing pleasure. They have been working hard in order to sustain their lives, especially during hard freezes. It can be difficult for water birds to obtain adequate nourishment during these times. They have been known to fly many miles in a weakened condition just to obtain a few morsels for themselves. If it becomes too bad for them, I have seen employees out in boats over the years breaking up ice in order to help our wildlife survive. We owe these state employees much gratitude for going to these lengths to help our birds and other animals. Personally, I feel that these men and women not only deserve our gratitude, but they deserve to have a few more dollars in their pockets to help feed their own families.

Canvasbacks | Source
Buffleheads | Source

The Duck Overview

Our world of nature this week comes to you courtesy of global warming. Our ducks have arrived early by a couple of weeks in this area. They are on the hunt for food, as well as to begin their mating rituals to propagate their species. Our Canvasbacks are increasing at the lake, yet the Bufflehead population is lacking somewhat. They seem to have paired up for the season, and I suspect that most of them tend to stay put wherever they are. Several days ago, the lake was frozen over with a couple of small channels for these ducks to feed themselves, as to safely remain in groups away from predators. The night sometimes takes its toll with ground predators, but thus far our bird population has been holding quite steady.

Double-crested Cormorant(Left) and Ring-billed Gull(Right)
Double-crested Cormorant(Left) and Ring-billed Gull(Right) | Source

Double-crested Cormorants and Ring-billed Gulls

We still have a few Double-crested Cormorants in our midst, as well. They have been socializing with the Ring-billed Gulls, or vice versa. It is going to be survival of the fittest, as neither one of these birds is terribly aggressive in actively hunting its own food. Who will they befriend next for a food source?

Great Blue Heron Stretches
Great Blue Heron Stretches | Source

Great Blue Heron Days

Several Great Blue Herons are here at the open lake, and there is an active rookery at the back end. From what I can hear, there are a good amount of herons making their home there, and I suspect that before long, there will be some new little herons in our midst. I don’t think that winter is going to be too kind this year, so we will have to hope for the best for them. Overall, I hear that all over the country bird deaths are at a relative high in general.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal | Source
American Robin
American Robin | Source


Songbirds still continue to be in the general area, and I have seen record amounts of goldfinches. Of course, we have record amounts of sunflowers and thistle, so that gauges what we could have for birds. I suspect that plenty of finches will be around over the winter.

The Northern Cardinal has also made a few appearances. Since the food supply is a little scarcer, they are more on the lookout. There are remains of berries still in plentiful supply, and I know where to find those, as does our friendly neighborhood cardinal pair.

The American Robin is not scarce, either. I have been seeing them rather frequently, especially in the early mornings. There may not be any worms available, but they have been sharing berries with the cardinals in the same trees.

Male Belted Kingfisher
Male Belted Kingfisher | Source

Belted Kingfisher

The male Belted Kingfisher was in my vicinity this morning. I’m not sure if he has forgiven me for paying more attention to the Bald Eagles last week or not. He did permit a few pictures, but didn’t come too close, like the female tends to do. Of course, it is early in the season, so time will definitely tell.

There was no sign of the Sooner Lake pair, but to be honest, I’m not surprised, as the water is open. They tend to prefer fish for their meals, and really don’t want to disturb any of the other birds. I have deliberately been staying away from the Northern Reaches, so they can have peace and quiet. If there’s too much hubbub, they’ll just leave the area, and I’d rather not have that happen.

That’s about al I have to report this week. Most importantly stay warm and hydrated. Keep you head in the clouds and your eyes on the ground. Until next week!

Let's Go to Boomer Lake!

Windblown Northern Mockingbird
Windblown Northern Mockingbird | Source
Buffleheads in Flight
Buffleheads in Flight | Source
Great Blue Heron with his Catch
Great Blue Heron with his Catch | Source

© 2013 Deb Hirt


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Glimmer Twin. Chances are good that you will see at least one Snowy. They have been seen in Chincoteague. Keep your camera with you, if you can do so.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      4 years ago

      We are about 1 1/2 hours south of Erie in PA and I have been hearing about the Snowy Owls popping up. How I would love to see one. Many years ago, when I still lived in Maryland there was one on a barn next to our house. People came from all over. He was so beautiful and majestic although the farmer was glad when he left so he could have his fields back from the birdwatchers. Lovely hub.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, teaches! You are so welcome and thanks for reading. If you want to see more pictures, look at:

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I did not know that Robins stayed up north this time of year. How interesting. I love your photo of the Kingfisher. What a sweet little fellow. Thank you for the enjoyable read.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Dave! Glad that you liked this week's group.

    • D.A.L. profile image


      4 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Another enjoyable visit to your part of the avian world. Snowy owls are beautiful birds. Great capture of the Mocking bird.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mary! Thanks for the bird word, and here's to seeing more of our feathered friends.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      While Harry Potter's Hedwig is a variety of snowy owl and lovely, I must say your snowy owl is truly beautiful with its pure white feathers! I've never seen one here but I know they are around (though rare) as there have been photos in the newspaper.

      Our winter birds are here too with the robin noticeably absent. The black capped chickadee, cardinals (though they are here all year round), and house finches are most in abundance. Strangely enough no juncos or titmouse yet but my son says he's had them at his feeders.

      Is it possible your photos get better with each hub?

      Voted all but funny.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! Glad to hear that you saw one of our beautiful night stalkers. They are wonderful creatures. I believe I have a Great Horned Owl that lives in my next door neighbor's tree. I will have to take a look around to see what I can find.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, I love snowy owls! we actually heard then saw one the other night, not sure if it was a snowy owl but it was pure white and flew past my window then settled on the tree, awesome! have a wonderful Christmas!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mel! I will be anxious to see your pictures!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 years ago from San Diego California

      Great report as always. My son is home for the holidays and I think we are going to do some birding in the next week or two down at the Tijuana River wildlife refuge. I might post some pictures on my Facebook page, but they won't be anywhere near your standards, of course. Keep up the good work!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Suhail, perhaps this is the year that will be most generous...

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hats off to the State employees trying to make life easier for waterfowl. I wish we had same hearts all over the world, especially in this season of giving.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You can use mine, any time. Did you see the eagles?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for putting up with the day changes. My work schedule dictates that I move the columns around.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 

      4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Beautiful photos, again, aviannovice. I especially like the one of the geese. I want to do a painting of geese just like the two photos I 'missed' while walking on different evenings in Calgary along the Bow River this past summer. They were flying so low and flying fast and swiftly down the river. It was magnificent. Both nights I didn't have my camera with me. So far I haven't quite found just what I need to copy from, but if I ever do, I will of course ask the photographer for permission to use their photo to draw from.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love all the photos, but the picture of the mockingbird in the wind is especially interesting! Thanks for another Boomer Lake report. I don't mind what day of the week I read them on - they're always interesting!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      ChitrangadaSharan, Glad that you like hearing about the wonders of the world. They are all amazing in their own way.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Another interesting hub with great pictures and narration!

      The Snowy Owl looks so elegant! Thanks and have a good day!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kevin, the Superb Lyrebird will beat a mocker any day. They can do twenty bird sounds in a single song.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Connie! Those are the original Kids in the 'Hood. Have fun with 'em while you have them there.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You probably want a SNowy Owl, too, dontcha?

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      4 years ago

      This week was interesting Deb. I read about the Snowy Owls, and I watched the video about the Lyrebird. It seems like the Lyrebird is Australias version of the Mockingbird. I have not heard it, but I read about a Mockingbird which mimicked a train! Great photos, as usual.


    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, there are record numbers of goldfinches at my feeders this year so far! I've never seen this many, but I'm loving it. They are so friendly, and I love to hear their 'potato chip' calls. A pair of house finches joined them several days ago, along with a purple finch or two. They are still at the feeders as of today, so they are fun to see as well.

      I always enjoy your info and images--superb my friend ;) Connie

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      4 years ago

      i just want to snuggle up with that snowy owl! Looks sooo soft and

      As usual - you amaze me with your knowledge, patience, and ultimately - photos!

      i am LOVING my blue-footed BOOBIE~!


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Faith Reaper! Every little bit helps in the life of a bird. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for everything.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Minnetonka Twin. Glad that you enjoy them.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, it would be so amazing to see the Snowy Owl! Excellent photos as always. I am glad the state employees did break up the ice to help save the lives of the birds! Awesome!

      Another great week and Boomer Lake.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      4 years ago from Minnesota

      Love these great photo's Deb. I could look at birds all day.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Best of luck, Jackie! Let me know what you find.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You probably have less competition during the week I imagine? I know I get any bird shots messed up often by others around, especially with the kids. They just have fun on the brain and that don't mean birds, lol. Would love to spot one of those owls, going up now to see what my chances are, thank you!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Billy! My employer has been messing with my work schedule. On Sat. and Sunday I work 11, 12 hours a day, sometimes more. It all depends on what the economy dictates. I miss my Sundays, too, but I no longer have that day off, so that's what happened….

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      First I planned my week around my Sunday visits to Boomer Lake. Then I changed my schedule so I could visit on Wednesdays. Now it's Tuesday and here you are. Do you have any idea what you are doing to this very regimented human being? LOL Just teasing, Deb; whenever you post one of these I am front and center loving every minute of it.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Bill! They have been seen MUCH further south, so I have a pretty good idea that your chances of spying the owls are quite good.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great photos as always Deb. Very interesting the Snowy Owl irruption. There have been a few sightings not far from where I live and I hope to catch a glimpse of one this winter. Have a great week.


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