Monday, May 16, 2016
Rare Birds Are Still Gracing Payne County in Oklahoma
Great Blue Heron
First Spring Hooded Merganser
0900-1300 hrs./58-68 degrees F/partly to mostly cloudy/15 mph wind gusts
The day before the rain provided a good showing at Boomer Lake, namely the Neotropic Cormorant
who visited me between the northern jetty and Goose Island on the east side of the lake. This bird
arrived approximately a month ago, and has been with us ever since, which has been the first spring
it has ever been at the lake. Also, two first spring Hooded Mergansers dropped right in front of me
on the north side of the lake closer to the shore near the northern part of Goose Island. Nonetheless,
even though the Hooded Merganser can be in the area this time of year, they will most likely be resident birds. Normally, these birds are in the area only during the winter, so it is quite exceptional.
The remainder of the birds were photographed off Boomer Creek in the deeply wooded area. The
Swainson's Thrush was heard calling prior to the sighting, and there were also several warblers seen
and heard in the area, including the Prothonotary and Blackpoll Warblers. If you look hard at the Red-bellied Woodpecker, you'll see its long tongue protruding from its bill, which is how it gets all those delicious ants and termites.
It is expected to be good weather on Wednesday, so it is likely that more birds could be arriving in the
area, but until then, the current visitors are probably not going anywhere.
The Spotted Sandpiper, the Red-bellied Woodpecker and the Red-headed Woodpecker are all at home
in the Boomer Creek area, as well as the stately Pileated Woodpecker. There is no question that these
birds are all raising youngsters. Hopefully, I might be able to spot a nest cavity tree, even in the thick woods. Time will tell.