Sunday, August 30, 2015

All Things Green Heron

                                                                     Great Egret

0708-1051/70-84 degrees F/sunny/light and variable winds

I spent about an hour with the Green Heron chicks this morning.  The parents were not in the
vicinity, and they were spending time learning on their own.  They are successful at feeding themselves, as well as watching for predators, and that is the better part of a heron's day.

As you can see, they did several amusing things, and they are learning how to play and interact
in a positive way, all without help.  They should have no trouble serving, but they will require some serious flight time.

083015 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer is Still Going Strong with Medium Migratory Movement

                                                            Adult Green Heron(Parent)

                                                         Green Heron Chicks, Clutch 2

                                                                  Great Blue Heron


                                                        Green Heron Chick, Clutch 2

                                                                       Ditto, Gaping

                                                          Green Heron Chick, Clutch 2

                                                                    Mississippi Kite

                                                           Green Heron Chick, Clutch 2



                                                          Green Heron Chicks, Clutch 2
                                                                    "Partners in Crime"

                                                         Green Heron Chick, Clutch 2



                                                                    Molting Great Egret


                                                                     Gulf Fritillary

Photos of the young Green Herons were over the past several days.  They are growing quickly,
as they need to do in order to get ready for migration.  Finally, we're getting a few butterflies
in the area, but each year they seem to be lessening, most likely due to prevalent use of pesticides
in Meico, where they overwinter.  Native milkweed plants are also invasive, so farmers are eradicating food for the young butterflies and caterpillars by removing them.

Migratory movement is about medium strength, still plenty of assorted flycatchers in the area, as well as Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and Yellow Warblers.  Fall birds are moving in, with good populations of
assorted woodpeckers and still numerous Eastern Phoebes.

Eastern Kingbirds, Common and Great-tailed Grackles are roosting, so they will be on the move
soon enough.  Then the Scissor-tailed Flycatchers will be right behind them.  If you notice, a few
of them have been spending their days at the lake.

Share staples with those at your feeders, and you'll be rewarded with migratory stopovers.  Songbirds
enjoy bathing in, as well as the sound of running water.  Please provide black oil sunflower seeds and suet for those birds on the move, as they are high calorie nutrients.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Migratory Movement for Songbirds Appears Underway

                                                    Green Heron Chicks, Clutch 2, Day 2

                                            Green Heron Chicks Clutch 2, Day 2, Position 2

                                                                   Great Blue Heron

                                                         Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper

                                                                Common Grackle

                                                                  Great Blue Heron

                                                                     Great Egret

                                                                 Female Yellow Warbler

                                                               Female Orchard Oriole

                                                                Willow Flycatcher

68-71 degrees F/0700-1000/partly cloudy to mostly cloudy/17 mph wind gusts

An outstanding day as far as migrants are concerned.  The grouping of songbirds at the bottom
were in a group of approximately sixty birds, so it was hard to view and photograph all of them.
Birds include Indigo Buntings, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Orchard Oriole, Yellow Warbler, and
House Sparrow.  All birds were southbound and very active, stopping to partake of sustenance
during several days worth of unsettled weather.  Migratory movement appeared to be more of a medium range.

Also observed was a group of forty of both Common and Great-tailed Grackles in mixed woods
near Transportation Dept.

I believe that there is a third Green Heron, most likely the last born that I saw for a moment, who
skittered back to the nest area.

There was quite a bit of activity at The Northern Reaches.  As a side note, the Mississippi Kites
didn't come to the lake until early afternoon, after a short rain with large raindrops.