Mesonet has recorded 0.70 inches of rain in the seven days before Thursday's rainfall. We are still experiencing a dry summer, which was to be expected this year.
Rare birds over the same period for the county is and was the Northern Waterthrush, which has been known to stay around low water levels for sometimes as much as a week. It has been observed both at Boomer Lake, Boomer Creek, and Lake Sanborn and is actually rather common during this time of year as a migrant. It is just difficult to find due to its furtive nature, but once one hears that metallic alarm call, it is advantageous to look a little closer.
Many nice migrants are being observed, and for the past week there have been some very good birds cross our paths, both on land as well as in the sky during twilight and darkness.
There have been telltale signs, though a little less, of the Fish Crow, which has a higher pitched call than the American Crow. However, juvenile American Crows can sometimes fool us, as the younger birds have not yet developed their adult syrinxes, which is also why they can mimic human speech. The juvenile is ‘tween their young and adult voices.
Red-shouldered Hawks have also been seen between the trees and leaves hunting incognito, which is about the only way they are going to eat during this time of year. Related juveniles have been found hunting together silently, which bears good looks with your binoculars.
Eastern Kingbirds, Indigo Buntings, White-eye Vireos, young Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and Purple Martins are still available for your viewing and photographic pleasures, and there are more songbirds yet to come in due time.
Turkey Vultures have been roosting at both the country club and Boomer Creek, several of which were not on the thermals yet at nearly press time.
Juvenile Summer Tanagers are still out with more adult features each time they are observed, and the Prothonotary Warbler had a productive breeding season this year, as have Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, which are quick if one has the wherewithal to attempt photos!
The Dickcissel still manages to fly over or show up at Boomer Lake upon occasion, as long as we leave its preferred habitat alone.
Barn Swallows and Carolina Wrens are still a little sparse at the lake, but they have been both seen and heard in greater quantities in other less populated locations by more riparian areas.
Warbling Vireos, Least Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, and Common Nighthawks will be either seen or heard at an appropriate venue near you, depending sometimes, upon the time of day.
Mourning Doves are increasing in number, which is normal for this time of year, but it seem that there are less Mississippi Kites than there used to be, but more cicadas and dragonflies due to their less than nominal numbers.
The White-winged Dove appears to have disappeared completely.
Keep your eyes on the ground and your head in the clouds. Happy birding!
Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and photographer living in Stillwater.