Calm water rainfall for the week was recorded at 0.09 inches.
Rare birds for the week in Payne County were the Ghost Hollow Veery and the flight of black-bellied whistling ducks over Lake Carl Blackwell.
Last week the writer was thrilled to have a handsome male Ruby-throated Hummingbird sitting in the sun in cottonwood with that handsome flashing red gorget. What a way to start the day.
Here is this photo that we owe to the readers of last week. This was after the four inch rain when the lowlands had low areas filled with water. As you can see, there were good representatives of Wilson’s Phalarope, as well as the Great Knight and the Lesser Knight. It was easy to take the picture, it just took a bit of time. Each time the birds became nervous and flew away from their last feeding area, they moved closer. By the time this photo was in the viewfinder, it was already saved for posterity. This is why standing still is so important, as it allows a good shot to be great. Also, phalaropes do not follow the rule of thumb of the handsome male. These birds are female. The males are the duller cubs, so I didn’t expect that.
Even though many migratory birds are gone, we still have a few frugivores that are ready for those ripening blackberries. They’ve just started to get dark, but that won’t matter to some of them. I remember last year the Rose-breasted Grosbeak used to eat the berries just because he could. There are a few areas along the lake that have mulberry trees and bushes, so if you have cameras bring them along for what could be some fabulous shots of songbirds eating their fruit. Not only will it bring back the Cedar Waxwings, but maybe it will attract the Swainson’s Thrush, which I haven’t seen yet this year. American robins and scissor-tailed flycatchers will also participate in the treats.
A few Franklin’s Gulls have made it to Boomer Lake in the last two days, so we might also have Black and Forster’s Terns to accompany them. Forster’s Terns are much easier to shoot, although the speed and agility are definitely those of the more difficult Black Terns. Remind me to tell you about the vortex situation, which makes things much easier.
This Tuesday, there was a familiar “whit” call, which isn’t hard to identify, once you’ve been enlightened as to what it is. The writer preferred to wait to see if the owner of this call would finally show up, which took about ten minutes. It was the Slender Flycatcher with very conspicuous eye-rings and a dark chest. Of course, he had to get behind every branch and leaf he could find, but eventually a photo was obtained.
Our Eastern Bluebirds flew away three youngsters! We saw them yesterday from afar with bad shots, but we can’t find them today.
Deb Hirt is a wild bird rehabilitator and photographer living in Stillwater.