Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
For more posts and photos, I also post on Hubpages, a site that is a bit different than others. Thanks!: Shorebirdie on Hubpages

Friday, July 3, 2015

Duckling update at Lake Murray for the last few weeks

Instead of posting duckling updates over and over, I decided to put the last few weeks of ducklings together all in one post.

Mom and One Duckling:

First up is a mom of a single duckling I first saw on June 16th. A crow tried to grab it, but I shooed the crow away. Later, I didn't see him and feared he had been eaten shortly after I walked away. Then, I saw the same mom and duckling three days later. He also disappeared soon after I saw him and I haven't seen him or his mother since.






The Uneaten Ducklings:

The story behind these ducks is that one of the western gulls was intensely watching this family of four, but I managed to steer him towards a couple of dead fish nearby. Once he discovered and began feeding on the fish, the ducklings passed by without harm. However, a few days later, there were only two. But they may not have been eaten by the gulls. Mama duck has a habit of taking them back and forth across the lake. I'm thinking a fish or cormorant may have gotten them. The other two are still around and growing strong:










The Older Ducklings:

The older ducklings are still plugging along and are just about full grown.  All they need is their primary feathers. They are almost the same size of the adult ducks.





New Littles:

These ducklings just showed up a few days ago. The mother started with six, then she had five. Today, I didn't see her at all:




Goslings:

All the goslings have grown up and are flying, including the youngest one:


In Memorium:

Sadly, the three ducklings that were in the last post were all eaten by the western gull. I tried to dissuade the gull, who caught them by sneaking up on them, but he ate them anyway. 

Also, both Sissy and Pumpkin, the two blonde female ducks, have been missing for a couple of weeks and I'm very concerned. Trouble has been around, but his bill was damaged from what looks like a rock.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Surprise Baby Ducks

I was really surprised when I visited Lake Murray, last night, that not only were the two older ducklings doing well and the three very young ducks doing well, but I found a mother with ten ducklings that were at least five days old doing well.  I think the mom with ten might be Peaches's mother.

First, the two older ducklings. They are more and more looking like a male and a female. They reached their one month old mark today.


The three that I've seen before are still alive and well.


This is the mother duck whom I thought looked like Peaches' mother with the ten ducklings. The gulls seems to be strangely absent lately which is nice because I can enjoy the ducklings without worrying about them being snatched. The herons also appear to not be as active.


Someone was throwing bread at them, hence the bread in the next couple of pictures.


Then, all sets of ducklings disappeared into hiding. I didn't see them at all.


The youngest baby goose is beginning to look like a grown-up.



And, a surprise wood duck. This one looks like either Doodle's son or that one that used to chase Doodle around.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Once again, ducklings

Ducklings are finally starting to arrive at Lake Murray and, fortunately, the gulls have diminished enough so that I can enjoy them without worrying about them getting snagged right in front of me. Also, the herons' chicks are also mostly grown, which means there is less desperation to get food. I've only seen one black-crowned night heron, for example.

I would post about other birds and their babies, except I'm not seeing too many or they were moving around too much. There was a killdeer nest, but it is unknown what happened to it.

Yesterday, I saw all these ducklings.

A mom with 8 ducklings, she was very shy. A pied-billed grebe swam under them and mom got really mad and beat the grebe up. I'm not sure if the grebe was after the ducklings, or just chasing a fish. The grebe's baby was disappointed that mom didn't get something to eat.




Another shy mother with four littles.


Bath time for these ducklings who made it to one week old.



The older ducklings have grown a little. A heron was in a tree watching them, but they didn't see it until it flew off. They are still small enough to get eaten or killed by the bigger herons.


And, Pumpkin with Runner Duck and her other friends.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Babies From This Morning


I was surprised to see a couple of three week old ducklings all by themselves at Lake Murray, San Diego. I think they are the two ducklings I saw back on May 12th. The mom has been hiding them in the reeds, but somehow, they wandered off on their own. They're much too young to be by themselves. One of them is a boy and one is a girl. Already, Runner Duck attacked one of them, chasing him around. Runner duck tolerated the girl duckling, but not the boy duckling. Poor babies didn't know they weren't wanted near him. Pumpkin seemed a bit interested and "talked" to them a little. I think I heard their real mama call to them at least once.


They were following around the scalped mother duck who had seven ducklings last Monday and now has only three left. I'm betting that she was bedding down at night near where the two older ducklings were hiding. Probably, in the morning, when she did her mama talk telling her ducklings to move on, they began to follow them. However, she really didn't want them around and chased them whenever they got too close  to her babies.


The small ducklings, however, were fearless and not afraid of the bigger ducklings. Here are two of them taking a bath.


Here is the youngest gosling who is starting to get her adult feathers. The other five are fully feathered and getting ready to fly.


And, there are a whole lot of dove squabs at the lake, too. Here are two of them who weren't sure if they had to move or should pretend I couldn't see them.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Mostly Ducky Update

I got a new camera lens and wanted to shoot some photos. It's kinda similar to the last lens I used before, but slightly better with a quieter motor.

Mr. Pekin and Mr. Squeaky, who is doing better:


Mr. Squeaky likes Miss Banana Bill, a newer dumped duck that I will be keeping an eye on. I want to name Miss Banana Bill another name like Angel, instead, but I just don't feel like Angel should be her name.


After a long time of being missing, Pumpkin showed up this morning:


I'm a little worried about Mr. R. who has a bad prolapse that now looks infected.Otherwise, he seems to be OK. Mr. R. is at least five years old now.


I was surprised to see this mama duck with ducklings as I never really saw her on a nest. She was getting severely beat up by the males.




I found this duckling who was a little bit older in another area.


Sadly, though, when I came back about 45 minutes later and I think I saw the mom without the duckling. There was a cormorant and a heron nearby and I fear he became a victim of them.


Speaking of herons, I only see one baby heron left in the nest.


I couldn't find the older gull with the swollen cheek. Usually, he likes to hang out on the osprey pole near the boat docks. I didn't see him at all.