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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Update on "Digger" the killdeer chick

Today was the last day I would have been able to visit "Digger" and her dad before they closed it for repairs on the drainage ditch. She is two weeks old today give a day or so. I found the dad down by the benches near where the chicks first hatched. I heard the sounds of chicks peeping in possibly two directions, but definitely one. "Digger" was seen quite a bit today. Not only is she a very effective hider, but now she can run pretty good, too. She always kept one step ahead of me as I searched. Whenever I would go to look for her in a place where I saw her hide, she would run off to another place. By the time I got to the first place, she was far away from there. Since she has the habit of burying herself, I do not pursue her beyond a visual search. I would rather she not get hurt by my searching than to accidentally step on her or bury her even more.

M6 Dad trying to get me to look at him so that his daughter can move to another area

I couldn't get a photo of her because every time I saw her, she was obstructed by branches. But, she's still pretty tiny and covered by fuzz. I would say she's about 1/3 the size of her dad if at that. But, she was very mobile and could keep up with dad running. She also seemed more confident. I believe unless something strange happens, she will most likely make it another two weeks until she can fly. I also think she will be fine during the construction as she and her dad will most likely move reasonably quickly out of the way as long as nothing sudden happens or someone doesn't run over or throw things over the brush the first minute construction starts.

No sign of mom in the area. Am hoping she is in another area with any of the other missing chicks.

Also seen in the area was the juvenile blue heron. I wanted to "move him along" out of the area because of the chick(s). He was paying way too much attention to dad who ran by him chirping, paying no attention to the big bird. The heron watched and moved towards him. Generally, the herons in this area eat only fish, but I could see him snagging a bird (especially a small one) if the opportunity arose. I "mosied" him along twice, but on the second time noticed the 12 inch long fishing line stuck to him. He seems fine and it does not seem to be hindering him, but I am concerned about it. I would hate to see anything happen to that bird's leg considering how he just reached adulthood and just started out on his own. He may manage to get it off by himself as it seems to be only loosely coiled around his leg. But, it could get snagged on some reeds.

I also saw another round of coot chicks, too. Didn't think I would see any more of those this year.

Coot and chick

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