Tuesday, June 30, 2015

With Love From Buddy, the Great Blue Heron


                                                            Great Blue Heron Preening

                                                                    Great Blue Heron

                                                            Great Blue Heron Stretching

                                                          Great Blue Heron Disturbed

                                                         Great Blue Heron Alarmed

                                                          Great Blue Heron Enlarged

                                                      Great Blue Heron in Flight

0645-0915/77-81 degrees/partly cloudy/18 mph wind gusts

This heron normally stays at this location, but has been missing for a couple of months for breeding purposes.  Now that this old friend has returned, he was catching up on lost time.  This older male
follows me unless I photograph him.  Here's his latest material, with love from Buddy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Germany To Turn 62 Military Bases Into Nature Sanctuaries For Birds, Beetles And Bat

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation announced on Thursday that it will turn 62 military bases into tranquil nature reserves. 
"We are seizing a historic opportunity with this conversion -- many areas that were once no-go zones are no longer needed for military purposes," Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said, according to Agence France-Presse.
German military reforms have allowed the country to set aside 76,600 acres of forests, marshes, meadows and moors for wildlife. "We are fortunate that we can now give these places back to nature," Hendricks said.
Ruth Schedlbauer, a spokeswoman for Germany's Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, told The Huffington Post that species like the middle spotted woodpecker, above, and lesser spotted eagle, below, will live in the sanctuaries.
lesser spotted eagle
The reserves will not only protect birds -- threatened bats and beetles will also thrive there, Schedlbauer said. 
The majority of the former bases and training areas are in historic West Germany, west of the former Iron Curtain. The fortified borderlands that separated communist and capitalist Europe became accidental nature reserves during the Cold War. Many of these areas are now part of the European Green Belt , a chain of habitats that runs from Norway to Turkey. 
european green belt germany
A portion of the European Green Belt in the northern German village of Schlagsdorf.
"In the remoteness of the inhuman border fortifications of the Iron Curtain nature was able to develop nearly undisturbed," a Green Belt spokesperson told the Independent. "Today the European Green Belt is an ecological network and memorial landscape running from the Barents to the Black Sea."

Beauty In the Endzone

                                                                  Eastern Kingbird

                                                                 Juvenile Mallards

                                                            Native Oklahoma Milkweed

                                                                Great Blue Heron

                                                              Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

                                                             Juvenile American Robin

                                                                      Red Admiral

                                                          Male Red-winged Blackbird

                                                 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Yellow Form

                                                           Red-headed Woodpecker

0640-0915/77-82 degrees/partly cloudy/light and variable winds

Not an outstanding photo of the Red-headed Woodpecker, but this is at least something
to introduce the species, as it hasn't been seen on Boomer Lake for a couple of years.
Butterflies are also coming in, and that is a good sign, as Monsanto, Syngenta, and Dow
have caused an upheaval in the population of all flying flowers.  However, some of the
largest sellers of these dastardly chemicals has refused to sell them any longer.  This will help
save butterflies, beneficial insects, and birds lives.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Down-Home Denizens of the Land

                                                               Eastern Kingbird

                                                                      Great Egret



                                                              Northern Mockingbird

                                                             Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

                                                           Male Red-winged Blackbird

                                                                 Juvenile Mallard

                                                             Mourning Dove in Nest

                                                             Nestling Mourning Dove

0640-0918/71-77 degrees/partly cloudy/15 mph wind gusts/low pressure system

There was also a Red-headed Woodpecker seen for the first time in a couple of years, but due to
the placement of the sun, the photo was washed out.  Spotted on Thursday morning was a Prairie Merlin, with a Red-winged Blackbird in pursuit, a very rare visitor to the area.  By the time I realized what it was, it was nearly over my head, and all I could do was stare in awe.  If this bird returns one
day, it will be surprising.  In the meantime, I will keep my eyes on the ground and my head in the clouds...