LIFE AT BOOMER LAKE: Some birds nesting, some on the move | Lifestyles recorded no rain over the past seven days.

Payne County rare birds for the week include the ongoing Teal Ridge Least Bittern, as well as assorted reports of the Black-bellied Whistling Duck in multiple locations.

Writer has had several sightings of the Chimney Swift around the Lakeview Road/Boomer Lake area throughout the spring, which makes one wonder if there may not be one or two living in the area or possibly even nesting.

There are also recently fledged and juvenile birds in our midst. Writer observed a couple of young Blue Jays on East Lakeview Road making themselves known with their loud raucous calls. It was amusing to have both bound around on foot in front of us. Where else is one able to observe such comical antics of two blue chunky little bodies with short wings, tail and general wing feathers but out in the field? We even had to hold our breath and stop a distance away to keep those two rapidly moving youngsters from meeting their maker in the roadway, but they stayed on the grass.

Red-tailed Hawks are also on the move. A beautiful dark morph was observed on a telephone pole in the area of ​​the dam just below the Lakeview Road Bridge. This was a welcome sight after all this time.

Boomer Lake is beginning to get better numbers of both Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. On the first day of summer, four Great Blue Herons, including two gray younger birds were out. They were being taught the ways of the world by mother or father, which is always something to be noted. As clumsy as they are, the young birds are good students and don’t disappoint with their sometimes amusing behaviour. They are every bit as vocal as their parents, and one sometimes wonders if they may not be just as irritated when they sound like they are complaining.

Great Egrets are also welcome sights this time of year. We expect more water birds naturally, especially dressing the shoreline with fishing behavior. Surprisingly, they have not been in the area of ​​our local fisherfolk, but they will soon be looking for handouts, as many tend to do when their bravery increases around the human factor.

Five Mississippi Kites were found perched upon the high wires near the E. Lakeview Rd./W. Lakeview Rd. divider Tuesday evening. This is a certain indicator that the young are about ready to learn how to hunt. Dragonflies and grasshoppers are also increasing around the Boomer Lake area, which shows us that the kites are definitely approaching us as well.

Carolina Chickadees are still very apparent in helping those that need it in their specific territories, and woodpeckers are also coming closer to us. Some of the best insects are known to retreat to more populated areas, as there are less predators, but that won’t last much longer.

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.


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