Sunday, July 31, 2016

073116 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tidings of Great Joy: Clutch 4 AND 5 Have Arrived

                                                               1st Summer Green Heron
                                                         Congratulate a Brand New Parent

                                                         Green Heron Chick, Clutch 5

                                                         Green Heron Chicks, Clutch 4

                                                           Green Heron Chick, Clutch 4

                                                     Second Green Heron Chick, Clutch 4

                                                         1st Summer Green Heron (Left)
                                                        with One Clutch 5 Chick (Right)

                                                           1st Sumer Green Heron (Left)
                                                         with One Clutch 5 Chick (Right)

                                                       Clutch 5 Chick Just After Feeding

                                                                Same Clutch 5 Chick

                                                                     Clutch 4 Chick

                                                    Second Clutch 4 Green Heron Chick

                                                             1st Summer Green Heron

                                                         Green Heron Chick, Clutch 4



                                                                     And Ditto

Yesterday, 07-28-16

71-80 degrees F (feels like 86)/0710-0922 hrs./partly cloudy/no wind/94-78% RH

I have been waiting with bated breath for days, and it finally came to pass.  After two days of
sporadic rain and mostly cloudy days, I was finally able to go to the lake.  Sixth sense told me
that I should have a clutch, which I did.  Then I saw the second clutch climb down the center
tree a short while later.

Unable to contain my excitement, it wasn't easy trying to follow the antics of two sets of two
youngsters.  Clutch 4 is the older of the two.  This is the batch from the center tree, which had
no easy access.  Having surveyed this tree, I was postulating that the chicks would either exit
via the rear of the tree, which didn't have water over it, or they would be late in arrival, due to
the fact that they needed flight ability.  This is the tree that I observed the sticks being delivered
at when we were watching clutches 3 and 4.

Both of these clutches are the first sires of both sets of the 1st summer herons, which is why they
were so active in feeding the other clutches.  They were honing their parenting skills, in tutelage
from the adult birds.

Observing these brand new youngsters was a treat for me, as a gaggle of Canada Geese came into
The Cove and clutch 5, who is nearest the inlet/outlet fled into hiding.  They eventually ran up to
their nest tree, which was the nest tree for our first clutch of the year.

Then a couple of Mallard juveniles swam into the cove, temporarily displacing clutch 4, the
slightly older birds.  The chicks just went higher in their snag.

All birds were very active yesterday and I am pleased with their early progress.  I will be back on
the job in the morning!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All's Quiet Before the Proverbial Storm--NOT!!

                                                       Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 3

                                                         1st Summer Green Heron
                                                              In the Clutch 4 Tree

                                                            1st Summer Green Heron


                                                       Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 3

                                                              1st Summer Green Heron

                                                        Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 3


0700-0830 hrs./75-80 degrees F  (feels like 89)/partly cloudy/10 mph S winds/72% RH

There is no question that we have another Green Heron nest in the center tree.  If you notice
in the photo, a 1st summer bird is standing in it and several times I have observed older birds
walking the branch to it and dropping into the nest to feed the youngsters.

The youngest clutch 3 member, or "the baby," is still at home and not really interested in
moving from the area.

It was a relatively quiet day, which could have something to do with the extreme heat, and it is
most apparent that there is a nest to me.

                                                          Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 3

                                                      Male Yellow-headed Blackbird


0700-0838 hrs. (feels like 88)/77-83 degrees F/partly cloudy/10 mph S winds/85-70% RH

The heat was sweltering, even in the early morning, yet it was in my best interests to look
around the lake and see what else I could find.  This Yellow-headed Blackbird was in the same vicinity where I saw one in the spring, but it was much closer.  As a matter of fact, it was so close,
I didn't even need binoculars to realize what it was.  This bird was in the company of a gaggle of Canada Geese, just looking for insects.

                                                          1st Summer Green Heron

                                                         Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 3

                                                             1st Summer Green Heron

                                                                    Ditto, Pose 2

                                                                    Ditto, Pose 3

                                                             Ditto, Wind Gust at Rear

                                                                    Ditto, New Perch


0700-0900 hrs./78-84 degrees F  (feels like 89)/sunny/84% RH/8 mph S winds

Besides feeding the young, even though it was hot, there was more activity at The Cove.
The 1st Summer bird doing the feeding is now old enough to be a parent, which has already
crossed my mind.  There are two first summer birds, which would be half last year's crop, so
it is very conceivable that they now have a nest in waiting.  If it is a smaller clutch, then I will
feel even more sure that this upcoming nest belongs to a first-time parent.

                                                                  Great Blue Heron



0705-0824 hrs./78-82 degrees/sunny/light and variable winds

This is a friend of mine, who I have been calling Buddy since I have been photographing on the
lake, which began in 2012.  I have a lot of pictures of Buddy, who really does enjoy showing off.

He was under the impression that the Green Herons had their young and were done, so knowing all
these birds as I do, I was highly amused at the prospect of his arrival, thinking that he could happily
regain his turf.  Since I know that there is at least one clutch of Green Herons and he didn't, I was
anxious to observe his reactions when he saw some new young birds.

                                                                Greater Roadrunner

                                                                   Domestic Ducks
                                                                     "My Escorts"


0650-0850 hrs./78-84 degrees F (feels like 90)/sunny/light and variable S winds/60% RH

After viewing The Southern Cove and noticing no activity, I walked as far as Goose
Island to see if there was any new activity, which I really did expect.  I didn't have to wait
long, as on my return trip, I observed a Greater Roadrunner not far from the southernmost jetty.
The bird appeared disturbed by something, as his movements were erratic.  I had seen a couple
of men operating a remote controlled speedboat, and made it a point to thank them for not
trying to frighten some nearby domestic ducks.

The boaters had moved to the north side of the same jetty, and the roadrunner was making his
way toward me.  He could hear the boat engine and was confused, since most roadies are
somewhat familiar with cars.  The way that he was behaving, it appeared that he knew that there
was no roadway near his location, yet the sound of the engine was unmistakable.  He found a
spot where he could peer beyond the grass at the water, and was not happy with the water toy.

These were the ducks that were in the area of the remote controlled boat.  The came toward me and walked with me on the grass for quite some time.  They haven't been around the lake long, having
originally been in the company of an Emden goose, so they are quite used to people.

Another note of the day was the observance of three Mississippi Kites, which is the most that I have
seen together at the lake this year.  More should be moving in shortly, especially with the growing cicada population.  These kites are insect eaters.

                                                             1st Summer Green Heron



0705-0845 hrs./84-87 degrees F/partly cloudy/10 mph S winds/72% RH

There was quite a bit of activity today, a lot of flight and general chaos, and that tells
me that clutch 4 should soon be out and about.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Clutch 4, We Copy You Loud and Clear

                                                           Green Heron Chick, Clutch 3

                                                           Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 2

                                                             1st Summer Green Heron

                                                        Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 2

                                                            Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 2

                                                         Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 2

                                                            Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 2

                                                          1st Summer Green Heron (Top)
                                                          Green Heron, Clutch 2 (Bottom)

                                                             Green Heron, 1st Summer

                                                          Green Heron Chick, Clutch 3

                                                             1st Summer Green Heron

                                                               1st Summer Green Heron


0645-0845 hrs./74-81 degrees F/partly cloudy/10 mph S winds/72% RH

Today it was confirmed that clutch 4 is on its way--one fuzzy head was positively ID'd.
Adults have been coming and going from different egresses, which is only natural to
confuse potential predators.  A second nest had been observed being built in this tree
a couple of weeks ago, so this clutch appears to be on schedule.

Youngsters were going about their business feeding themselves and learning on their own,
since the older birds are busy with so many young mouths to feed.  One of two (confirmed!)
1st summer birds have been paying them some mind, but it has not been like it used to be.
All adult hands are on deck for the present demanding nestling(s).