Monday, May 16, 2016

Rare Birds Are Still Gracing Payne County in Oklahoma

                                                                Red-bellied Woodpecker

                                                                  Spotted Sandpiper

                                                                   Great Blue Heron

                                                         First Spring Hooded Merganser

                                                                   Swainson's Thrush

                                                                 Eastern Kingbird

                                                             Neotropic Cormorant


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.