Saturday, July 31, 2010
George is heard, but not seen. Also, ballfield killdeer update
I didn't see George or Martha again, but I heard George make a call when some people walked over near a dock. When I looked there, I saw no signs of any killdeer at all. But, I know that George is still around and I often hear him but don't see him. It's possible that he doesn't like the new water level as it brings him too close to where people walk.
4th of July chicks should be flying now
All 4th of July chicks who have made it this far should be flying by now, but they won't be very good at it for another couple of weeks and will probably rely on running and hiding still. They will be about 1/2 the size of their parents, but fully feathered. Flying will give them a new advantage against predators even though they won't have the ability or stamina to fly very far or high. They should be full-sized by 8 weeks old, or in about another month.
In the M6 area, all is quiet. I don't even see people doing construction there. I'm sure Digger and Shy are just fine and practicing their flying. If the road opens, soon, I will go check on them.
Junior should be a dad now
Junior (aka Little Male), son of George (M2) should now have a family as it's been more than 28 days since he mated with the smooth-band female. I haven't found him or his family. I can't search everywhere, though, and wish him and his family good luck. Junior has always been more high strung than any other killdeer and never had a lot of tolerance for me, so it's good that he will be raising his chicks without having to worry. Perhaps I will see his next family and he will have become calmer.
Killdeer at the ballfield
I think I spotted Mary over in the ballpark again. There were 9 killdeer there, 8 were the ones from that area and the 9th was Mary, all by herself. The other killdeer seem to like her, but she won't be able to get a mate unless an unbonded male takes her in. One male seemed to be following her around a bit, but later on, she was still alone. Mary is also a very large female, it looks like. Also at the ballfield, it appears that there were some young killdeer, perhaps about six to eight weeks old.
Also seen at the ballpark was Digger and Shy's mom. I think she might either have new eggs or is hiding chick #3 over in the "disputed area" nearby. Bo was also at the ballfield as well as the bow-tie male and possibly the old male killdeer, M4.
The killdeer at the ballpark like to keep me at a distance, so it's hard to get really nice photos. It's so funny. I walk into the ballfield and the killdeer all watch me, begin to due hiccups and move away, but they stay quiet. As I turn to go away, they all start doing peeps, or mild alarm calls. Very funny. No problem going towards them, but I guess they had to say something to me as I leave.
I found this one funny photo of this killdeer. She was grooming herself and then got her foot stuck over her wing, presumably as she was scratching her head. She did this a couple of times, but she's OK, she got the foot out.
Also seen this day:
A juvenile green heron, possibly newly fledged. I've seen a parent there before, but never knew about the babies. He caught a fish while I was watching.
A snowy egret showing off his yellow feet
A juvenile pied-bill grebe. He was sleeping on the shore and I thought he was a sick duck, so I came closer to check him, but he went into the water and went to sleep there. I never thought these grebes ever got out of the water. He still has some stripes on his head.