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, August 24, 2010

Hawks, snakes and a sora

Tiny, all alone in the morning

Tiny was all by himself when I arrived. When I made him nervous, he began calling for his mom, but no one called back. I left him alone to go find everyone else, but found no other killdeer in the area.

On the other side of the lake, the ballfield killdeer were acting very nervous, constantly flying around into different fields. Several blackbirds, starlings and doves were also doing the same thing. Starlings are naturally more flighty than killdeer, but sometimes if the starlings fly off all of a sudden, the killdeer will follow. Other killdeer were hiding on the shoreline and the various points and I could hear them calling. I could hear two killdeer calling from the M6 area, possibly Shy (who has not been seen as an adult, yet) and her dad.

Three killdeer, I think the one in front is Mary

I found this young male with a really long tail at one of the ballfields, possibly the third chick from the M6 area, "Secret". A killdeer that looks like Mary has taken an interest in him. I hope that means that Mary's lonely days are going to be over.

Male with a long tail, possible young "Secret"

This could be the reason for the nervousness. At least two Cooper's hawks are perusing the area where people usually feed squirrels, waiting. After the person who feeds them leaves, the hawks try to catch the squirrels and the grackles. So far, I haven't seen the hawk catch any killdeer and just about all killdeer are accounted for each time I visit the lake or they show up later.

Cooper's hawk in tree at Cowel's Bay

When I saw the hawk suddenly dropped to the ground near the water's edge, I went to go make sure that she didn't get a killdeer or a duckling. I didn't really think that she did as a killdeer would have let out a scream at the last moment before trying to fly away. But, as I went towards the water, a long rattlesnake was stretched out over the road. I walked as far as I could around it as I knew it couldn't strike me with it's body all stretched out. It flicked it's tongue when I went by and realized that it didn't want to deal with me, so it began to coil up and go into the brush. I was more concerned about getting past the snake and not taking a photo of it that by the time I wanted to take a picture, he had gone deep into the brush. I didn't want to pursue him because it was too dangerous.

I never did find the hawk wherever she landed.

When I was leaving, I found George's three kids playing together.

You can see a similar long tail on Killer, who is standing on a rock, to what was on the other male across the lake. That makes me think, even more, that the male killdeer is "Secret" one of the three chicks from the M6 territory as they are exactly the same age.

Killer showing off his longish tail

The two boys decided to fly off on their own, leaving Firecracker by herself. But, she decided to go join them later on.

Tiny and Killer together

Hey, where'd everyone go?!

Also seen:

A sora. I heard a report that one was spotted last weekend and I used to hear someone talk about one all the time in the area where the Hawk Food ducklings lived. Well, here's a photo of it, seen today.


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