Hackberry Flat in Spring

April 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Wildlife) (, )

American Badger

I figured I’d start with the badger since it’s the most unusual animal of the day. It’s technically not in the boundaries of Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in Southwest Oklahoma, but pretty close.

I was looking for burrowing owls, since they are known to nest in that area, and I saw a movement of fur. I pulled up, camera ready. It took a couple seconds for the badger to realize it was being watched. See for yourself:

The reason to visit Hackberry Flat, however, is the birds. Many migrants are moving through now. Some will stay and raise a family.

Wilson’s Phalarope

The Wilson’s Phalarope has an unusual way of feeding. It spins in the water to stir up prey, and it’s pretty comical when you have a whole group of them doing it. Check out this video from the first time I had seen them in Nebraska:

Also, unlike most species, the females are far more colorful, and they “court and defend the males” who do most of the child-rearing! So the ones I saw are females.

Wilson’s Phalarope

Long-billed dowitcher

Black-necked stilt

Since we are at the crossroads of eastern and western habitats, I’m seeing a lot of birds that remind me of ones I saw at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah.

Ruddy Duck

And also birds I’ve seen in southern Florida.

Dicksissel male

The dicksissel looks very much like a miniature version of the meadowlark. Watch the video to hear its song.

Dicksissel, rear view

Grasshopper sparrow

The grasshopper sparrow is more often heard than seen, buzzing like an insect in the grass. Occasionally one will sit on barbed wire as if contemplating the world.

Chipping sparrow

Black swallowtail male

Black swallowtail female

The wild thistles were quite popular with the pollinators.

Sulphur butterfly on rayless gaillardia

For the most part, I stayed in the car, as it is a good photography blind. Several hours had passed before I realized the sun would be setting soon. I can’t wait to see what shows up next time!

 

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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