Sunday, September 24, 2017

092417 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kites, Hawks and Natural History Just For You

                                                                  Mississippi Kites

                                                                Red-shouldered Hawk

                                                                  Wild Sunflower

                                                                 European Starlings

                                                                      Great Egret
                                                                  at Boomer Creek


08-27 through 09-03-17

This appears to be the end of our Mississippi Kites for the season.  They spent about ten days
at Boomer Lake and I believe we had ten or eleven at one point.  You may recall that I finally managed to get a few decent photos of juveniles this year, getting me one step closer to my raptor
collection.  I have a lot more to go, but eventually, I'll succeed.  I'd also like to improve upon the quality of the raptors, too.  Some were quite a distance away.

Our local Red-shouldered Hawks are back, and nest each year in a reasonable distance from the lake.

It wasn't close enough for a photo, but one of our Belted Kingfishers has been visiting the area for the past couple of days.  I saw two males, but not the female.  She will come around eventually, most likely when it is nearer winter.

A couple of evenings ago, some birding friends and I went to the lake to see some of our Scissor-tailed Flycatchers that roost elsewhere during the day.  We also saw several lovely House Finches, as well as a Western Kingbird that should have gone south.  I am assuming that this juvenile has been staying close to the young scissor-tails and was a late hatcher.  We will most likely have several late hatching birds coming through the area on their way south this year.

Not being pressed for time today, I managed a trip to Boomer Creek, where I observed my woodpecker entourage, as well as someone that has been interested in corvids for quite some time.  Actually, I have encountered several new birders recently, so I'm happy to say that the fold is growing.  A couple of us have been spending time teaching the joys of birding to those with budding interests.  Our biggest joys are when the new people get to observe new birds for the first time.

For those of you that have never seen one, I thought that the naturalists would enjoy looking at a cicada.  They are heard everywhere, but are sometimes a little difficult to spot.  This one flew right in front of me and landed on a sapling.  I just had to take a photo to show you.

Until next time!

090317 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Saturday, August 26, 2017

We Are Ready For the Fall Migratory Birds


                                                          Adult Mississippi Kite


                                                         Juvenile Mississippi Kite


                                                                Adult Mississippi Kite

08-20 through 08-25-17

The Mississippi Kites are pulling out of all the area neighborhoods to catch dragonflies and cicadas at Boomer Lake.  They are teaching the youngsters how to survive, and they know that the perfect place to do it is in the throes of our greatest body of water.

Several fine examples of both juvenal and adult birds are quietly hunting from the tallest bald cypress
and oak trees on the southeast corner of the property.  Since young birds have difficulty staying silent for too long, they manage to announce themselves, which makes it easy for me to find them.  There are at least three young birds that were hatched in this area.

Large numbers of Mallards are also in residence at the lake, and young Red-shouldered Hawks are also hunting here.  Plenty of Turkey Vultures are gracing the skies on thermals, and there are several Northern Flickers, Downy and Red-headed Woodpeckers, and the Yellow Warblers are coming through the area now.

The web worms are all over the deciduous trees, which means plenty of potential food with protein and we are well on our way with large numbers of rough-leafed dogwood for the migratory birds that will soon be at Boomer Lake and the creek on a well-deserved rest stop.

Keep your eyes on the skies and may the birds be in your sights...