Saturday, January 7, 2017

Winter Birds Bring Good Fortune to Boomer Lake

                                                                 American Goldfinch

                                                              Red-bellied Woodpecker

                                                                      Herring Gull

                                                          Dark-eyed Junco (slate colored)

                                                                     American Robin

                                                           Female Downy Woodpecker

                                                               Northern Mockingbird

                                                             Lesser Black-backed Gull

                                                   Ditto, Surrounded by Ring-billed Gulls

                                                American Kestrel at Magruder Plots, OSU

                                                                  Warbling Vireo Nest

                                                       Adult (RIGHT) and Juvenile (LEFT)
                                                             Herring Gulls in Rear

                                                           Herring Gull (FRONT)

12-28-16 through 01-01-17

Temperatures during this period of time were relatively warm for this time of year, unlike what
had just rudely dominated our early mornings.

There were standard birds in our midst, like the American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Juncos, the
Carolina Chickadee and Wrens, Bewick's Wren, Song Sparrows, and other winter sparrows.

As luck had it, there were other gulls among the mix at Boomer Lake, like the more common Herring Gull, adults having a red spot on the lower bill, and are larger than the yellow-legged Ring-billed Gulls, which really do have a black ring around the front of the bill.

A European gull that is getting to be more common in the area, was willing to be photographed, the Lesser Black-backed Gull.

While a friend and I went to Magruder experimental wheat fields at OSU, we had high hopes to see
a couple of different longspurs, but there were none.  There were plenty of Eastern and Western Meadowlarks on New Year's Day, as well as Eastern Bluebirds, and a gorgeous male American Kestrel.

This is the time of year for al the woodpeckers to make nest cavities, choose a mate, and think about
laying eggs.  A couple of representatives are shown here, the Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.
There are several yellow-shafted Northern Flickers, including the rarer Red-shafted.  We had a female last year and she has returned to us.  I don't believe any of her young from last year were red-shafted, but just because I didn't see any, doesn't mean that there were none elsewhere.

Even though the Brown Pelican caught a southern tailwind after two weeks of reigning over Boomer Lake, all good things do come to an end.  A Brown Pelican is a coastal bird used to salt water fish and warmer temperatures, so it was a rare fluke, but not totally out of the question during the tail end of an El Nino year.

We'll continue to seek out more uncommon birds this winter, and chances are good that more will be visiting with us.