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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where's George? Also, a Say's Phoebe

George was not at Alvarado Bay or the other side of the parking lot at Lake Murray today to sing to me. He was also not at Padre Point or anywhere else that I could see on the lake. And, since Junior is no longer living in that area, there was no killdeer to sing to me as I arrived. I am hoping that George is in his secret hiding spot giving his 23 day old chick flying lessons (if they're still alive) in order to bring them back to his favorite eating spot. Martha was also gone, but she may be attending a new nest somewhere.

I saw a cute little Say's phoebe near the parking lot today. Actually, there were two over there fighting. I think I saw them later across the lake at the Osprey nest. Later, along with a kingbird, they chased a Cooper's hawk away.

Little Say's Phoebe

At the ballpark, there were eight killdeer playing killdeer games. Males rushed and flashed tails while females got out of the way. When I left and came back, a bunch of starlings were in the field and some were bullying the killdeer around, running at them and pecking them. I think one or two killdeer charged back, but one was chased around the field for several minutes. One of the starlings was able to catch up to the killdeer and bonk it on the head. Then, several other starlings joined in the chase and the killdeer started to get scared and started screaming. Eventually, it all stopped and the starlings got nervous and flew away. I didn't see any killdeer who were severely hurt and they all seemed to go back to their games after the starlings left. I think the starlings were being like crows and just wanted a diversion for the moment. I don't know what they would do to a killdeer if the killdeer couldn't keep ahead of them.

Two females at the ballpark watching their males challenge each other

I thought I saw a killdeer with George's band markings, but it turned out to be a female. I saw the bow-tie male killdeer and a male with an almost gap in his breast ring. I think Mary might have been there, too, as well as Grandpa (M4) and a couple of pale-winged killdeer from the M8 area.

It is very quiet over on Digger's side of the lake where it is closed off. There doesn't seem to be anything going on there. I hear no killdeer sounds at all. But, there were no humans or anything else to get them excited when I visited, so they might still be there doing OK. Digger and her sister (I am going to call her Shy if I ever see her again) might start flying any day now.

Also seen at the lake:

Mallards and wood ducks.

I think this is either an immature female Bullock's oriole or an immature female western tanager, but I'm not sure.

I'm not sure what these are, but I see them all the time. They're about the size of a cactus wren, but have cone bills and are very sparrow-like otherwise. They're also not that dark or black as seen in this photo, either. They could be immature or female red-winged blackbirds.

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