Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiny gets upset and a new chick?

Today, I didn't see anyone in George's territory when I arrived, but I did see two sandpipers and a green heron fishing for all the thousands of minnows in the area.

At the ballfield, I counted 15 killdeer between two fields. I'm sure all three chicks of the M6 territory are there as well as dad, but I can't be certain. However, I did find this curious little guy on a pitcher's mound, watching me. He looked like he still had some down on him, so I estimated that he was less than 5 weeks old. He could fly very well, though. He wasn't afraid of me at all and came really close, trying to get a look at me.

Cute little guy

This female, who looks like the M6 mom, was very concerned about him and called him back to her.

Watch out, it's dangerous there, says this female

This male, who looks like Secret, was concerned about the female who was concerned about the young male. That's Mary in the foreground.

"Secret" and Mary, I think

I'm wondering if the M6 mom was maintaining two different nests about two to three weeks apart. She had three chicks from one, but when the other nest started to hatch, she took one chick and paid attention to the other new hatchlings, going back between the two families. So far, I only see one chick of that age there.

They (the possible mom and the young killdeer) took off across Del Cerro Bay along with Secret and I think Mary, too. Suddenly, two of the killdeer abruptly changed direction near where the hawks like to roost. Two went to the south and I think the other two ended up on another ballfield. I didn't see any hawks, but they could have been there. I hope there weren't any hawks, especially if it's the little guy's first day out.

I heard a killdeer flying around from the north to the south side of the main parking lot in the south, making alarm calls. I heard two to three responses to it, but I couldn't tell who it was that was flying over.

On my way back around the lake, I found and heard a strange call of a nervous bird who didn't stay still on the north side of the parking lot. Finally, it stopped and let me take photos of it. It was a greater yellowlegs.

Look at me, I am pretty, right?

The yellowlegs went around to Alvarado Bay. Shortly after it arrived there, I heard a killdeer alarm call, then a territorial call, and a trill. Then, it was quiet for a while. When I arrived, the only killdeer I saw was Tiny, all alone. He seemed very upset and nervous. While I was there, he was quiet, but when I started leaving, the yellowlegs started to call and Tiny began making alarm calls. I don't know if Tiny was trying to warn the rest of the family I was coming, or if he was really upset about the yellowlegs. It's possible that he was trying to scare it away with the trill and the territorial call and when it didn't go away, he started to do alarm calls. The yellowlegs responded with his own call.

I don't know what that is, says Tiny

I watched through my binoculars and could see Tiny watching the yellowlegs as it approached him while he stood on a rock. But, the yellowlegs was only interested in the minnows and didn't bother Tiny at all. So, Tiny began to calm down and was fine when I left. He probably figured that this wasn't a killdeer after his territory or was going to hurt him.

It was the first time that I've heard any of the chicks make an alarm call while still on the ground.

No sign of the rest of the family, but they've gotten good at hiding in plain sight around there. I thought I heard them calling from across the bay in the fenced area.

Also seen:

A juvenile green heron early in the morning:

Lots of song sparrows as always. This one has a seed in it's mouth.

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