Stillwater News Press

Local Columnists

June 28, 2014

Life at Boomer Lake 06-29-14

Rain, sun are creating good things

This week, we’ve had a little sun and a little rain. All good things tend to happen with this combination, and I must agree with that. As for me, this has been an outstanding time for birding, and I think you’ll agree.

There are plenty of things happening with young birds and nesting. We have several Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nests, which I have been discreetly monitoring for little heads.

So far, I haven’t seen any, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Soon there will be opportunities for those beautiful baby pictures, and surprisingly, the Fourth of July doesn’t seem to cause any real problems for them, even as loud as it is on the lake.

All we can do is watch out for those youngsters and they will be a real treat, as always.

The Eastern Kingbirds have also been busy with their clutches, too, as well as their territory.

They have provided a number of beautiful photo opportunities, yet they are very protective of their nests.

I haven’t spotted any in the clusters of leaves and brambles, but the young ones will raise their heads and let us know when they are ready to fledge. They are about as vocal as their parents are, so stay tuned for more information on that front.

Wednesday was a glorious day on the main part of the lake, as there was a beautiful Great Egret in breeding plumage, all by itself. This beauty was looking into the fishing situation, and it appears to be satisfactory.

Egrets tend to show themselves more when it has warmed up for a while, so I expect them in numbers fairly soon. Egrets and herons roost in trees, so make certain that you look up once in a while in order to spot them.

Sometimes, there are several in a tree.

Between Northern Cardinals and Brown Thrashers, I’m not sure which populates the lake more, but I’m leaning toward the Brown Thrasher.

This one was actually sitting in the foliage near its nest when I spotted it, but it was none the wiser.

I obtained a number of several good clicks while it went about its business.

The Canada Goslings are still doing very well. They are generally on land every other day when I am out, and luckily, getting quite used to their surroundings.

This little one was busy looking around and realized that its family had moved on, so it was in a hurry to catch up.

There are numerous young Eastern Bluebirds and Eastern Phoebes in the neighborhoods. The phoebes are actually in the flycatcher family just like the Eastern Kingbird, which is larger than the phoebe. I have never spotted any of them on the lake, but I will be watching carefully.

If anyone is interesting in birding tours, let me know via They will most likely be done Thursday mornings.

Until we meet again, keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!

Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and professional photographer living in Stillwater. Half of her wildlife photo sales are returned to the birds via the Payne County Audubon Society. She can be found wandering around Boomer Lake on almost a daily basis monitoring the wild bird population.

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