The Lake Has Gone to the Birds

Things are still a bit cool at the lake although the Memorial Day Weekend was warmer with less rain thanhas been the norm. Lots of people put their boats in for the Summer and took their first cruise around the lake. The weather has not been very summer-like most of May but summer doesn’t actually start for about another month. The skies have often had a gray shade to them. Sometimes, the lake has been calm as shown in this picture but, at other times, the wind has been whipping across the lake with large white caps.

One bit of sad news is that the bald eagles do no seem to have been successful this year. An adult was seen on the nest early in the nesting season but since that time, there has been no action at the nest. The adults seem to spend lots of time together on the old nest tree and most likely a raccoon raided the nest.

Other birds are at the lake, though, including a number of immature bald eagles. On one breezy day, three were seen flying together on the air rising over a row of pine trees. The adults, not having chicks, may be a little less territorial so these immature birds may have more latitude. One is seen here on a tree right above a house.

Lots of other birds are around and the warblers have been passing through. Yellow warblers nest here so some will stay through the summer.

Sometimes you need to make sure that everything is in order and arriving at a house that has been vacant for a number of months can be a challenge. Sooner or later, though, you have to get things organized, yes, get your ducks in a row so to speak, but that takes time.

Other warblers are visiting the lake, more commonly found along small bays or in swampy areas but they often are flitting around in the vegetative buffers along the shores. These buffers provide good cover for small birds, prevent geese from coming onto your property (and leaving their droppings) and are good for preventing stormwater run-off. This magnolia warbler was seen along the north shore of the lake.

 

A Canada warbler has slightly different coloration and can be seen in swampy areas.

A common yellow throat is quite a spectacular warbler and is often seen hunting bugs in swamps near the water level. The males come up to sing, however, and sometimes even pose for good pictures.

And kingbirds are found all around the lake and often perch in prominent places. They are rather feisty birds and are very territorial. They have even been known to chase bald eagles even though they are a tenth the size of the eagle.

Remember that the water is still cold and if you fall in it will not be a pleasant experience, especially if you don’t have your PFD on. This is particularly true for people in canoes and kayaks. Warmer weather will come.

If you have a different identification of one of the birds that is pictured, let me know.