Saturday, November 9, 2019

Water Birds On the Wing and on the Lake with White-tailed Deer Upon the Supple Land

                                                                    Franklin's Gull

                                                                Juvenile Bald Eagle

                                                                  Female Bufflehead


0915-1033/50-58 F (wind chill 54)/clear/S-15/63-54% RH/30.0-29.99 Hg and falling

Today the Franklin's Gulls were at 480 strong, with 21 Ring-billed Gulls, and a single Herring Gull.
Five Killdeer flew from Shorebird Jetty and set up in the area of the lowlands on the southeast corner, never letting us forget who and where they were.  A single Great Blue Heron croaked its location from where it was to where it was going until its engine purred in a more subdued manner.

The gulls few into the air several times, the only times being blamed upon the juvenile Bald Eagle, which was followed twenty minutes late by the adult Bald Eagle.

In the meantime, we enjoyed a lone Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler, Carolina Wren, American Goldfinch, red-winged Blackbird upon a light post, and Downy Woodpecker patrolling a snag.

Four Ruddy Ducks made appearances to prove that winter was really coming, while two Great-tailed Grackles were hard pressed to give up their summer residences.

                                                                   Canada Goose

                                                          White-tailed Deer, View 1

                                                          White-tailed Deer, View 2


0704-0818/43-48 (wind chill 39)/clear/NE-8/66% RH/30.13-30.17 Hg and rising

The wind chill was a little biting with the scant wind, but being greeted by Northern Shovelers, Ruddy Ducks, a Canvasback, and Buffleheads made it worthwhile.  Southbound Double-crested Cormorants proved that fall was imminent, while 14 Killdeer showed that they were still southbound.
Canada Geese still flew our friendly skies while we looked on.

The House Finch and American Goldfinch were the final prizes of the day after two white-tailed deer came bounding through the southeast corner of the lake and stopped for a final still photo before continuing on.  After the Blue Jays and American Crow made their locations known, the Carolina Wren uttered a final call before all was done.

                                                                 American Goldfinch

                                                        Red-breasted Merganser, View 1

                                                          Red-breasted Merganser, View 2


0710-0819/56-57 F clear/SSE-2/70-72% RH/30.03-30.08 Hg and steady

Water denizens, a Bald Eagle, and the Red-breasted Merganser who surveyed the center of the lake came within twenty feet of the privacy of the western end of Heron Cove in order to show itself off.

Chipping, White-crowned, and two Song Sparrows searched for the grass and fallen sunflower seeds at the Cove in the midst of all that was not lost.

The Northern Mockingbird and Eastern Meadowlark both announced themselves before going their own way, but not until the Pied-billed Grebes and American Coot directed themselves to their personal plans for the morning.

The Bald Eagle lazily made its way south while we drank in the beauty of the mildness of the day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Migration of the Franklin's Gull

                                                               Franklin's Gull, View 1

                                                               Franklin's Gull, View 2

                                                              Franklin's Gull, View 3

                                                           Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe

                                                            Double-crested Cormorant


1335-1459/46-48 F (wind chill 43)/clear/W-8/54-50% RH/30.28-30.24 H and steady

It's always a joy to see the fall natives and migrants arrive during this time of year.  The frost is getting ready to be on the pumpkins first thing in the morning, likely within the next week.  In the meantime, we're enjoying Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants, Franklin's Gulls, and more.  Here's to an eventful fall and plenty of apple cider and pumpkin pie to us all.

                                                                   Franklin's Gulls


0827-0910/39-41 F/clear/calm/72-70% RH/30.33 Hg and rising

Thousands of Franklin's Gulls have been passing through Payne County and resting upon Boomer Lake, along with Pied-billed Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants, Northern Shovelers, Canvasbacks, and many others, though not to the same degree.

Today we saw 370 Franklin's Gulls and the first Dark-eyed Junco of the season on Boomer Lake, in a tree, no less.  It isn't cold enough yet for the snowbirds to be picking seeds off the ground, but that is just a matter of time.  Within the sunflower and grass stalks, there are also Song and Field Sparrows, so before long there will be more than a few seeking grass seeds.