A Year on Clear Lake-May 12, 2013

All in a Day’s Work–May 12, 2013

The Great Egret is a patient fisherman. It can wait for prey to swim by and then stab it with its strong bill. Though it mainly wades in shallow water, it can go belly deep. On occasion it’s been known to swim after its prey. A very versatile bird, it can actually hoover above, as well.

We’ve been blessed this year with several late cool fronts which have kept temperatures unseasonably pleasant, but sadly the weather forecasters are promising us this will end soon. Ninety degree temps are promised by week’s end. So now seems like a good time to do a quick inventory of birds that are gone now that spring has come (and gone), and those that have come for the summer.


I have not seen the ibis in at least two months, and though some sites show it as a year-long resident, I would say not on Clear Lake. The osprey are gone now, too, as are the white pelicans–they left in mid-April.


Though there are cormorants still present, their number is greatly reduced, so I believe that we have a large contingency that winter here, but are gone now.

White Pelican

I think the same is true of the coots – I haven’t seen any for the last few weeks. Also, the great blue herons are reportedly in the area year round, but it has been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen one. So I’m not certain of their status. I’ll keep a watchful eye out for them.

Our area is the summer breeding ground for many of the heron family like the yellow-crested night heron, the black-crowned night heron, the green heron, and the little blue heron. They are definitely here.

The purple martins are here – have been since February. In fact, we should have babies any day. And then there are the hummingbirds which usually passing through the area in March. If they did, I missed them. I haven’t seen one yet.

Yellow-crested Heron

Black-crowned Heron

Green Heron