Sunday, March 26, 2017

032617 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Weekend's Wonders Are Still Inbound

                                                              Red-shouldered Hawk



                                                                Neotropic Cormorant

                                                              Downy Woodpecker

                                                                Blue-winged Teal


                                                                Gadwall, Position 2

                                                                      Horned Grebe

                                                            Juvenal Great Blue Heron

03-18 and 03-19-17

We're back to spring weather again, as the low pressure system that had once been affecting
the eastern part of the country has moved on.  This makes migratory movement get into a
higher gear and bring us more birds that are northbound.

The Red-shouldered Hawk shots are all from today, and I practically walked into the bird before
I noticed it.  This gorgeous bird gave me these three shots and he was farther away from me in the first shot, and came closer.  These hawks are excellent mousers, and will prefer a mouse over a bird.
This is one of the many species that you'll save if you forgo rat poison.

The Neotropic Cormorant, a warmer weather bird, is rare in these parts, but has given us presence
since at least 2015.  February 21 of this year is the earliest that it has been here, and I strongly believe, even without a band, that this is one of last year's juvenal birds, now a pristine adult in breeding plumage.

Many Downy Woodpeckers were showing themselves today, and this one happened to be cavorting
with a female, also in the area.  Try as I might,  was unable to get a shot with the two of them together.

The Blue-winged Teal were not on the lake, but they were the only ones in the area.  They were found at the creek, spending a little extra time foraging before they go to their breeding grounds.

A lone Gadwall was in the company of the teal, and was still there when I quietly left the area.  None of them had any idea that I was in their presence, as it should be.

This Great Blue Heron is a beautiful example of one of last year's crop born here at Boomer Creek.
This bird is definitely a first year bird, due to its gray coloring.  A 5-year bird will have black epaulettes and tan shorts.  Due to their coloring, it is easy to age them.

This lone Horned Grebe was located near Goose Island in the area of the geese.

031917 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Life of the Present Bird Party of the First Part

                                                                      Field Sparrow

                                                                  Common Goldeneye

                                                                    Mourning Doves

Great Horned Owl

03-03 - 03-15-17

March was off to a slow start with a fair amount of inclement weather and cold wind chills in the early mornings.  Migratory movement was somewhat slow, but again, when it was good, it was
much better than expected.  As of this posting, weather is much more seasonable and movements have been closer to moderate, some species earlier than normal, others slightly later.

Our Bald Eagle has been around more, and I suspect that since one bird is in the vicinity, we have surprises in the nest.  We have come a long way since that first sighting in the winter of 2012.

Ducks and other water birds have been moving through the area, and I was both pleased and surprised to see several Common Goldeneyes visiting, as well as the fact that even though they were still a little distant, I could at least provide some photos this time around.

As you can see Mourning Doves are nesting, our first Purple Martin scout showed up on the lake on March 16, which also happens to be my birthday, so that was a wonderful present.  Since the winter hadn't been cold enough for a long stretch, these birds have enough protein to fill their stomachs, and those early mosquitos, gnats, and no-see'ums, will be kept at bay.

I have seen TWO American Kestrels a couple of times this winter, and there is a possibility that one could be the offspring of our usual resident male bird.  If he stays too long, he will be pushed out of the area by the older bird, which is normal practice.

There will be more photos to come, and at present, our Blue-winged Teal have been coming through the area before they continue on, so you'll see plenty of them as time goes on.    

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Red-breasted Mergansers and Hawks Visit Boomer Lake

                                                       Red-breasted Merganser males
                                                                in breeding plumage

                                                                Red-breasted Merganser

                                                                    Ditto on Species

                                                                Pied-billed Grebe

                                                                    Canada Geese

                                                                  Mourning Dove

                                                               Juvenal Cooper's Hawk

                                                               Juvenal Red-tailed Hawk



                                                                    Male Buffleheads

February to early March 2017

These are the highlights of the month, and I am proud to feature the male Red-breasted Merganser
in breeding plumage.  This is a common water bird found in winter in Oklahoma, but to see the male in its gorgeous breeding plumage was a first for me.  A single male was first seen March 2 and the two males were seen the day after.  They were gone after that, but not until they gave me several wonderful photo ops.

Even though these birds are less common on inland lakes, they do tend to show themselves on Boomer Lake upon occasion.  Even though they summer in Canada, it was nice to be able to get shots of these two in high breeding plumage with their black, shaggy crests, thin red bill and dark breast.

A young Cooper's Hawk (juvenal or juvenile bird) also came to Heron Cove where I captured the likeness of a similar bird almost in the same vicinity drinking water in the winter.  Cooper's Hawks are in the eastern part of the state year round, but they tend to be uncommon.  There will tend to avail themselves on an open perch, though.

Winter is never complete without the tiny Bufflehead, which means Buffalo Head.  These classic
little ducks are easy to identify with the male's large head and the female's classic chocolate color with oval white patched head.

031217 SNP Edition, Life at Boomer Lake