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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stormy day

Stormy day

Today, thunderstorms were going off and on, which is very unusual for San Diego and Lake Murray. It wasn't continuous rain, but off and on. I was very surprised that the killdeer responded to it by staying far away from the water. Once in a while, I would see them at the water's edge, but mostly they stayed several feet from the edge, even going up past the sidewalk to eat bugs there. I wonder if they know about lightening and water.

George on the sidewalk

The ducks, on the other hand, weren't acting any differently except they got scared of the thunder a few times and flew into the water. But, mostly, their behavior was the same.

I thought, at first, I saw a few tiny, newly fledged, babies running around, but it may have been Shy and Digger whom I saw as they are on the small size. Martha has taken to harassing Digger as well as Shy, but Digger stands up to her. When Martha approaches, she fluffs out her chest feathers, showing her "W" and Martha backs off. I think Digger likes Tiny. I didn't see much of Shy and it makes me wonder if maybe I'm misidentifying Digger and it's actually Shy who may have molted and changed her breast band markings. But, this female likes Tiny, not Killer, whom Shy likes.

Is this Digger or Shy?

George is having a constant battle between him and Shy and Digger's dad. Here's a photo the two young male killdeers and their dad chasing off the other dad. George is posturing a threat while the two teenagers watch. The ones on the right are Martha and Firecracker, I think.

6 killdeer, The M6 dad on the right, George and his two sons in the middle, Martha and Firecracker to the left

Digger and Shy's dad freaked out at some lightning once, and flew away, but came back. Shy seems to be becoming more accepted in this area and I don't think she's hanging out with dad too much. I saw Digger with dad, instead (or, again, it might be Shy and I'm misidentifying her).

The water level is coming back up, I wonder how long all these killdeer will hang around this area.


Killer, his mustache growing out


I found some raccoon prints in an area where a couple of killdeer have decided to live. They're usually not this far away from their home in the northern part of the lake, but the low water level has made it easier to forage for food in other places. I think they were the reason for the disappearance of a killdeer nest in that area last July when the lake levels were also low.

Raccoon tracks

As I was leaving, a little white terrier dog was running down to the lake on his own. I almost stopped to pick him up, but didn't. There was a car behind me and I think they picked him up, instead. I went back and looked for him for 10 minutes just to make sure. I didn't want him to hurt or kill any of the peacefully resting ducks by coming out at them by surprise. But, I didn't see him anywhere, so I left. Those ducks looked so happy, I hope the dog didn't do anything. I wonder where he came from?

Also seen:

Several juvenile double-crested cormorants:

I also saw the osprey and the sandpipers, but couldn't get photos of them.

Of course, lots of pretty ducks (and a coot, which there are tons of these days):

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