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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New baby geese and 2 new geese marriages


For those of you who have been trying to do some fishing on the north side of Lake Murray, San Diego, your wait is over. The goslings have hatched and the parents introduced them to the other family today far away from the nesting site. Right now, the two geese families are not mingling, but are keeping an eye on each other. When the two families met, both parents had a long discussion about something. I think they were telling each other which way they were going. The geese parents of the older goslings seemed a bit more demanding about the right of way. It's probably because they have more goslings, which makes them the more dominant family.

The new family has four bitties who possibly hatched yesterday or Monday:


One gosling was having a bit of a problem like it wasn't feeling well and sometimes lagged behind:





The older gosling parents were watching the younger ones as they walked away:


It looks like we have two new geese marriages or engagements. I think this is Squeaker and her older husband or fiance:


I couldn't get a photo of the other couple which seemed to include Grumpy, the sulking teenage gander which someone grabbed last weekend. Today, he seemed happy and was flying around with another, older goose. I think he was showing her his favorite spot near the dam. The other four are still milling around, begging for food. I'm hoping some of these guys will move to another area as the grass here is drying up with the drought.

By the way, I call them marriages because once geese pair up, they stay together for life and almost never cheat on each other.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Killdeer shocked at egret's breakfast and baby updates


The killdeer above, at Lake Murray, was extremely upset after he flew up to check me out yesterday. He didn't notice the great egret when he first arrived, but after a few seconds, I could hear an angry trill. I don't know if he was trilling at me or at the heron who was noshing on a squirrel it had just drowned. Later, the egret had a live squirrel and swallowed it whole before the squirrel was dead. Then, the egret had that look that one gets when they've eaten too much. I hope those two squirrels meant that he was done eating for the day.


Even though those two squirrels died a horrible death and will never experience life again, it doesn't mean that there will be a squirrel shortage. For those who like the squirrels, you can rest assured that plenty of babies are growing up to replace those adults. And, these babies are super quick, too.


There are at least two baby osprey in the osprey nest and they're almost ready to go. I think this is mom waiting for dad to get home with breakfast in the morning:


This California quail is one of at least three quails making a lot of noise. I love to hear the sounds of quail. Most of the quail live in Coyoteland. Even though coyote do eat quail, they also eat a lot of the things that eat quail and quail babies. So, I guess the quail feel it's worth the risk living with the canines:


Pied-billed grebe babies making lots of noise, demanding to be fed:


Even though Peaches and the other mother lost all their babies, Miss Whiteear was seen across the lake with three bitties of her own. She was being harassed by the males, but seemed attentive to her youngins. A heron was over there looking for them, but she was keeping her babies moving and hidden under the cover.


The baby geese are doing well despite the brown grass:



This female domestic duck was dumped about a month ago. She's in poor condition, probably from not being cared for properly. I couldn't get a photo of her until now. She looks a lot like Ducky Ducky who passed away a few months ago:


Mr. Squeaky is still having trouble with his eyes. Otherwise, all the male Pekins are looking very healthy.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

RIP Disappearing Ducklings

Sadly, one of the black crowned night herons found the ducklings and even grabbed one right in front of me. He just wouldn't go away. So, ducklings have been disappearing all morning. Soon, there will be none. That's why I like to get out there as much as possible to photograph them.

Peaches had abandoned her ducklings for over 20 minutes and I was watching them when I saw the heron. I couldn't get him to leave.

The last photo of all four together taken about five minutes before the heron got one of them.


This is the heron actually stalking the ducklings before he grabbed one right in front of me:




The final three. Squinty Eye is the one on the right:


The last 2:

One of the last ducklings:


The smallest duckling:



The final 2 after they were, again, abandoned for over 20 minutes:


The six from the other mother this morning:



There were five when I saw them later, but then they were going around the reeds and disappeared. I saw a cormorant in the area, but I didn't see him do anything. When the ducklings reappeared, there were only four left.

The heron stalking the final five ducklings of the other mother:


The four remaining after I left. This mother, however, has been more attentive and has even been fighting off the heron:


Also seen at the lake were these doves who were watching the last five ducklings with me:


Squeaky's mallard boyfriend still hangs out with the other male Pekins even though Squeaky is gone:


The goslings:

Monday, April 13, 2015

More changes for ducklings

I decided to visit the lake again, last night and found that Peaches had already lost 3 ducklings. However, the other mother, somehow, had gained 3 ducklings. Since the two ducks are closely related and their ducklings in that critical first 3 day phase, it appears that those 3 ducklings have decided to go with Peaches's mother while Peaches keeps 5 of them.

There was also a duckling hatching from the other mother's nest when I left last night, but this morning, I found he had died. He was being hatched backward and his head was in the wrong position. Peaches also had a dead duckling in her nest that appeared to have died soon after hatching.

This morning, I came up to find the heron standing over Peaches's mother with his head down near where all the ducklings were hiding under her. He flew off when I arrived and I found out that she was already missing one duckling. The mother did very well staying absolutely still, but I think one of the ducklings that was on the outside of the others might have gotten snatched.

Here are the "other ducklings" (with 3 of Peaches's ducklings, I think, still around):



And, here's Peaches's ducklings beginning with the Squinty Eye duckling:


Yesterday, a mallard-y duckling tried to steal food out of the black duckling's mouth. Today, the black duckling was doing the same thing to the mallard-y duckling while Squinty Eye looks on, again:



This little one is the smallest and sweetest:


I think Uno is gone for good.  Aww.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

More ducklings are hatched


A new mama just hatched out six ducklings at Lake Murray right near where Peaches was nesting. I think it might be Peaches's mama.

They are kind of strange looking:



These three got separated and are calling for mama. They had a hard time going over the rocks. But, they made it.


Peaches nearly got drowned this morning with five males attacking her. They were pushing her head down onto the concrete walkway that was under water, making it hard for her to get her head up to breathe. They were also nearly killing Little Guy, one of her mates, who was trying to defend her. But, eventually, they left.

She only has 8 ducklings now, and is still sitting on her nest. I heard a gull got one of the ducklings, yesterday. I don't know what happened today.



For some reason, this one duckling kept biting the mouth of the black and yellow duckling:


Maybe he had just eaten something yummy. He kept nipping at him. Usually, I don't see them bullying each other when they're this young. At this age, they're usually just trying to survive:




King of the rock:


The goslings are growing, but there's not a lot of grass on the lawn. It's not being watered because of the drought, from what I've heard.




Howard's old bullies are outcasts and hanging around the outcast baby geese from last year. I guess they figured they can bully those guys.



I didn't see Uno at all today. Snowie, his mother, was missing for a couple of hours, then she suddenly showed up without him. I don't know if he was hiding or not. Snowie seemed unconcerned, but she rarely is when it comes to her ducklings.

I also saw two baby osprey in the osprey nest and at least one baby heron in the heron's nest.