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

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.

Monday, August 22, 2016


I don't know if anyone remembers Zippy and Skippy and their mom "Yellowcheeks" from 2012? Here's a photo of them at about 2-3 weeks old:

I lost track of them when Zippy found a mate and I thought she left the lake for good. However, I recently came across an old photo of Zippy that made me realize something. This isn't the old photo, but it's a photo that I'm completely sure is her, so I am posting it. Sorry for the contrast.

Here is the photo I came across this morning that was taken about eight months after the one above.

I just realized that Zippy may be the mother of the two ducklings from near the parking lot earlier this year. They're the ones that the grebe family liked to follow around.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Spotted Sandpiper and Avocets

I haven't been taking a lot of pictures at Lake Murray, lately, but I did see this very friendly spotted sandpiper about two weeks ago. I think it's a male because he's small and slim. He was eating up flies like crazy.

I also saw some visiting American avocets on another morning. They're not rare, but don't visit the lake all that often.

Friday, July 15, 2016

July Ducklings

So far, duckling season at Lake Murray this year has been pretty poor. Not only are they disappearing when I do see them, there's been fewer of them. However, some have managed to make it to adulthood. Here are three late season broods.

The first two must be from sisters because the moms look very similar. I believe that these are both second broods for those mothers.

This third family is at the two-week-old mark. The duckling at the front is a hybrid and if he survives, he will be a chunky-looking mallard.

Another duckling made it until he was three weeks old and disappeared. He was very independent and just old enough that he could have lived on his own, so I'm hoping he just went off somewhere and is hiding.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Photo Contest Winners

I enter the Mission Trails photo contest almost every year and almost always with a duckling or gosling photo. I just like to show off the babies because I really enjoy photographing them. This year, I entered three photos and two of them won prizes. It was a total surprise for me and I thank the judges for choosing my photos out of all the great photos that were there.  Here were the winning photos:

Third Place and People's Choice:

Good Morning Baby Squeaker

First Place and Best of Show:

March of the Goslings

Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Northern Rough-Winged Swallows Feeding Their Babies

This morning, I was privileged to see two very young northern rough-winged swallows getting fed at Lake Murray. Sorry for the blurriness, they were far away and it was cloudy and there were branches in my way.

This first photo shows a hummingbird who was very interested in what was going on. Yes, there are two babies in the first two photos, one is closer to the right and less active. The first two pictures also have an adult. The first photo shows an adult leaving after feeding the youngster and the second photo shows the adult approaching the youngster who begins to show a begging posture. Note that in both photos the other baby doesn't react.

Another immature (teenager) rough-winged swallow was also waiting to get fed. The swallows were doing a good job keeping the bugs down today.