Sunday, January 31, 2016

013116 Stillwater News Press Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Song in My Heart

                                                             Red-shouldered Hawk

                                                               Pied-billed Grebes

                                                                   Least Sandpipers

                                                           Female Downy Woodpecker

                                                  Male Northern Flicker(Yellow-shafted)


                                                             Yellow-rumped Warbler

39-54 degrees F/21 degree windchill to constant in one hour/15-24 mph S winds/partly cloudy

Most of these photos were obtained today, as the rest of the week's windchills were hard to cope
with, plus the cloudy cover was very dense.

Today made up for the week's misery, as I saw several instances of mating behavior in the woodpecker clan.  Before my very eyes, The yellow-shafted male and a Red-shafted female
Northern Flicker were doing a mating ritual.  The male was not bothered by my presence in the
least, as you can see from these photos.  The Red-shafted female was a little skittish, but like
anything else, once she gets more used to me, she'll not worry as much.

Many songbirds were prevalent today, including the Harris's Sparrow, Slate-colored Juncos, Yellow-
rumped Warblers, and the Carolina Chickadee.  The Red-tailed Hawk was at the Northern Reaches,
as was the Hermit Thrush, and large numbers of American Robins.

012416 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

As the Cool Wind Blows, the Stars Come Out of Hiding

                                                             Ruby-crowned Kinglet

                                                             Female Northern Cardinal

                                                                 Harris's Sparrow

                                                                Carolina Chickadee

                                                           Female Northern Cardinal

                                                       Bald Eagle Pair(Male on the right)

                                                               Ruby-crowned Kinglet

                                                     Immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

31-42 degrees F/0750-1050 hrs./partly cloudy/light and variable winds

Most of these photos were from today, but the first two belonged to Monday.  The Bald Eagle
pair was seen through the trees a half mile away, so I meandered out that way in order to obtain
a rare shot, since they are not seen together often.  Since they rely on fish, none of the area birds
were bothered by their presence, and fearlessly went about their business.

Mr. Ruby-crowned Kinglet is getting quite familiar with me, and usually as soon as he sees me,
he swing over to say hello.

The sparrows have settled into the area for the winter, but most of them aren't there every day.
If I had to pick the most common, I would have to say over the years that it has been the
ubiquitous Song Sparrow, who I can see anywhere from twice to six times a day on a good day.

We're now in for a little warming trend, so let me get back to you on the weekend to see if anything
changes.  The ducks have been coming in,m but I am not seeing the numbers that I normally
encounter for the winter.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Steady as the Westerly Wind Blows

                                                                      Song Sparrow

                                                        Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet

                                                             Male American Kestrel

                                                                     Field Sparrow

                                                                    Ruddy Duck

0738-1104 hrs./31-40 degrees F(22 degrees windchill)/sunny/15 mph wind gusts

Who would have ever known that today would have been a fabulous birding day if I had not gone?
I thought about going back with those early wind chills, nipping through my gloves.  Now mind
you, I already have frostbite in my hands and feet, so it was sheer strength that kept me going.  I
knew that today was going to be special, just like a couple of years ago when I knew that our
Bald Eagle would give me the perfect full frame photo.  Always trust your gut instinct.

Obviously, I did just that, and I was reward with several shots of the American Kestrel, which I
have been trying to get for several months now.  Photographing birds on manmade objects are
against mob principals, which is why I decided to wait, and after today, I'm happy that I did.

Rewards tend to come at the most trying of times, including the four-inch Ruby-crowned Kinglet, who is constantly on the move and rarely sows that red crown.  Need I say more?

I STILL need to photograph the Golden-crowned Kinglet, who is generally forty feet up in a tree.

010316 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First of Year Spectacular Shots

                                                                 American Coot

                                                                 American Robin

                                                                   Slate-colored Junco

                                                        Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker

                                                                       Song Sparrow

                                                                Hooded Mergansers

                                                     Immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

                                                              Red-shouldered Hawk

0730-1238 hrs./30-47 degrees F/partly cloudy/light and variable winds

Late yesterday afternoon, came a long awaited walk, but today was a serious day for
birding.  As you can see, five hours was devoted to my passion, and my wonderful
players gave a superb show.  I was alerted to those beautiful mergansers several days ago,
and even though they were across the lake, luck would have it that my camera was able to
perform and give us something to see.

Many of these were obtained at The Northern Reaches, like the immature Yellow-bellied
Sapsucker, which does just that:  it drills holes for sap wells and it drinks the sap.  There are
a couple of adults around, and I'm almost certain that this youngster was born there last year.

I have yet to get a nice photo of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but he was very excited today and displayed his rarely shown red crown.  The pictures are not good enough to post, but once this
bird gets used to me and realize that I mean him no harm, I will get that photo.

Plenty of Great Blue Herons were away from the rookery, available in both locations, the park
as well as The Northern Reaches.  As winter gets colder, they will be skating on the ice.

I was told that both eagles were surveying their territory, but I only saw one.  The sun was shining
upon him, which made my photo a little washed out.

There was a lot of birding activity, even with the eagle in residence, yet most birds realize that
these largesse prefer fish over them.

Let's see what tomorrow brings...