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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

More and More Ducklings at Lake Murray

Right now, there are so many ducklings being hatched that they are pretty much everywhere.

The seven from last week were down to three yesterday. These had made it to ten days old, which is rare in this spot. I doubt I will see them again after these photos because of too many predators. However, it's nice to get some photos of them at this age as it's been a long time since I've been able to do so. They were eating bread from the ground in some of the photos. I didn't feed them that, though, so don't tell me how bad bread is for them as I already know.

Lovely Miss Una was seen with ducklings about the same time. I saw her twice and she had four ducklings when I last saw her. Then, she disappeared. This was her pattern last year when she kept the ducklings in one place until their numbers started going down and then took them somewhere else where they can stay hidden, so they may still be around.

I saw this gull near the ducklings. It looks like he had the stuffing beat out of him. His wing might be broken. I don't know if Miss Una or one of the geese beat him up. I watched him for a few days and he's not doing good. I don't think he's going to make it. I can't catch him because he swims away. I hate seeing gulls get this old only to die shortly afterwards. It's very hard for a gull to reach breeding age.

I think Miss Una's Mother had these ducklings, yesterday. There were tons of gulls around, so I don't know how they fared. Miss Una's Mother is a very competent mother, so I hope all is good.

Lots of babies in the canals. I'm not sure who this mama duck is:

This female, also in the canal, looks a lot like "Mama's Little Weakling" from a few years ago. She was raised in the canal, so it makes sense that her ducklings are being raised there as well.

And, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Squeaker and their one adorable baby:

Still no signs of any other goslings, yet. I suspect there's at least three other nests going on.

Grumpy (or Larry) update:

I can't remember if I've mentioned it in my other posts, but the parking lot goose which I called Grumpy (also known as "Larry" by one other person) was taken to Project Wildlife to be rehabilitated and, perhaps, released somewhere where she won't get into trouble. She was the one who liked to stare at her reflection in the cars in the parking lot. She was causing a lot of problem as she had started to go out to street and local businesses, so she could have caused an accident or got hurt.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A New Contender for First Duckling

I went back to Lake Murray today and found this cute little guy who may actually be older than the ducklings I saw yesterday.

I suspect all his siblings were eaten by predators. He's the only one I saw for that one particular female.

In the meantime, these seven guys have made it through their first day out. Many of the predators don't begin to pick them off until they're at least three or four days old.

Here's the mom with one of these cuties:

Snowie had her ducklings today, but they were not out of the nest, so I couldn't really get a picture of them. They were terrified of me and hid under mama's feathers to hide.

This one has a little mask.

Unfortunately, that will probably be all the pictures I'm going to get of Snowie's ducklings as I can't be there for almost a week. Since she's not the best protector and she's only got two, they are unlikely to last very long. So if you want to see them, they should be out this afternoon and you can take pictures of them.

No signs of goslings, yet.

Monday, April 10, 2017

First Ducklings of 2017!

The first ducklings I've seen for this year at Lake Murray have just arrived. There's a chance that others may have hatched earlier, but are hidden in areas away from people. So far, no signs of goslings and only a couple pairs appear to be nesting so far.

I think the mother is either Butterscotch, the last of the Fish Food ducklings, or Ducky's mate (Ducky died a few months ago). There was vegetation in front of me, so that's why there's a beige streak in the middle of the photo.

Meanwhile, Snowy, the Appleyard duck, is still sitting on her nest. It almost looks like someone took some of her duck eggs and replaced them with chicken eggs as many of them are small. Snowy has been sitting for at least a month.

The white swan goose has also been laying eggs, but someone has been taking them and throwing them at other people or on the rocks.

Sissy, who has been at the lake for at least three years, has gone missing. She was healthy the last time I saw her. I'm hoping she's nesting. I thought I heard a clucking coming from the reeds and all the male ducks, especially Runner Duck, have been poking their heads in there now and then.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Famosa Slough and Killdeer Land

Famosa Slough is a great place to see a variety of birds and even a few uncommon or rare birds. It's right there in the middle of Point Loma, so you don't have to drive far to see them.

First, a bunch of dowitchers flying away. There's always dowitchers flying around there. I believe these are short-billed dowitchers. However, your eBird list will be flagged if you identify them as such as they're very hard to tell apart from the long-billed dowitchers in winter.

A pair of mourning doves on a branch. The dove at the top eventually walked down and stroked the back of the other dove before pecking him to move.

Stilts, avocets, willets and yellowlegs:

One of the stilts:

Blue-winged teal:

American wigeon:

Famosa Slough is basically killdeer land in winter. There were probably a few hundred of them in there, watching me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ducky, Ducki and a Little Bird

First, a rainbow from Lake Murray this morning:

This first picture is of a duck named after a friend's duck as well as a TV character. His name is Ming Ming (It means "little bright one") and he has been going missing quite often. However, he was seen today after being gone for a week or two. He doesn't fly, so I knew he didn't fly away.

We're barely into February and already Ducki is losing feathers on her neck. She only has one male who doesn't let anyone else close to her. It's really not that bad. She could also be molting.

I just wanted to show off this photo of a spotted towhee. I think this guy is new and he was making a very loud, vibrating call, not the "neer-errr!" call I usually hear.

The two older male Pekins have decided to break off from the regular group and go on their own. I found in in the reeds near where Mr. Pekin and Arthritis Duck was killed by coyotes. However, I did not see them today, nor did I see any signs that the coyotes got them. They are about the same age as the other two ducks when they were killed. The newest duck, Daisy, was also not seen. She is an imprint and I can totally see her going home with someone.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great Egrets Fighting

I was counting birds at Lake Murray when I spotted these two great egrets fighting. I think one was a juvenile and the other had a mate setting up a nest in a tree about a 1/4 mile away. They had been fighting for a couple of minutes before I started taking pictures. A couple of times, one had the other completely under water.

The coot is a referee:

The ducks initially swam away, but came back to watch. I think that might be little Troublemaker, the mallard.

The looser looked like he had swallowed some water and didn't look good the next few times I saw him.

In other news, Pumpkin is still missing, though Sissy has been doing very well. Pumpkin always had some kind of health issue and it's still possible that she passed away, though I thought I heard her quacking a month ago. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sissy Returns and Other Birdy Happenings

Sissy, the buff duck, seems to have returned from her three-month absence in the reeds at Lake Murray. She had no ducklings this year. Her sister, Pumpkin, has not been seen or heard, yet, but she may still be in there as she often comes out after Sissy leaves.

This poor duck's eyes are swollen shut. I saw him a week later and they were less swollen, but he still had problems seeing. I haven't seen him recently. I thought maybe he was having severe mite problems, but now I think he got stung by a bee or spider.

At my home, we had a baby dove fledge and leave for good. Here's a photo of him still in the nest with his dad.

In sad news, I think something happened to that one young goose that was always lagging behind and who couldn't fly out with the others. This looks like a Canada goose wing, but it's all folded up and missing the "fingers". If I were to unfold this, it would be pretty big, so it rules out any of the ducks or other birds. I'm thinking he died in the water or the reeds. I found it near where he was last seen. I thought I he finally got away because the next time I went to that area, all the other geese were hanging out there.

In other sad news, I think I found out what happened to Miss Skeeter. I found a lot of light-brown feathers in the same area where Mr. Squeaky was found. This area is in a direct line from where I last saw her. I think the feathers were out there for at least a month or six weeks which would put them back to when I got the last report of her in late July.