Saturday, November 20, 2010
Update on Tom the Muscovy and some killdeers
I decided to make an extra trip to the lake today because of the cat I saw and wanted to make sure that it didn't put a damper into the birds' routines. Well, all the birds, including the little sandpiper, were doing fine.
It was cold, dark, windy and rainy when I went and I couldn't get a whole lot of non-blurry photos.
First, the killdeer:
The in-laws were still there, but everyone is getting along remarkably well. Killer does trill and display whenever he gets close to Digger's dad or Digger's dad gets too close to Digger. Then, Killer did a kind of a head-bob towards the M6 dad that seemed to indicate a truce.
The mom goes off on her own a lot at does her own thing before she realizes that no one else is following her:
"Look, I caught a worm!" (Sorry for the blurr)
Later, the dad, Killer and Digger all went fishing. Digger decided to poke and chase Killer around, probably for fun.
I also found a killdeer feather, a brown one that is probably from the top part of the tail or body. I didn't see anymore, so I think it might be a molt feather or one from fighting and not from a predator attack. As far as I know, there are no missing killdeer.
Ducky is doing fine, sorry for the blurr, he was moving around a lot.
I saw two other ducks, a male and a female, that are Ducky's age wandering around. I wonder if his siblings survived afterall. I definitely only saw one duckling in that area, but someone reported that there were three in the beginning. Perhaps the other two belonged to another mom and she took them somewhere else. I remember a "dispute" between Ducky's mom and another female over Ducky when he was really young. The other female seemed to be claiming Ducky as her own, but later left the area and not seen again.
They could have, also, flown in from somewhere else. All in all, we have three ducks that are late-hatchers here.
Tom the muscovy duck, the last of the muscovies at Lake Murray, is still plugging along, though his eyesight is getting worse. He looks like he's lost weight, but his feathers are looking really, really good! I've never seen him with so much green. He actually looks very fit and healthy otherwise. However, he is sleeping a lot and not moving around so much. It could be because of the weather.
Here he is getting fed by hand.
Reminder about dogs at Lake Murray:
I just wanted to remind people that dogs are not allowed off-leash at Lake Murray at all. And, no dog is allowed near the lake shore under any circumstance (50 feet from water). A lot of ground nesting birds nest near the water and their babies often can't get away from a dog. A dog could eat a duckling, quail, or a killdeer chick before their parents have a chance to respond and defend them. Many birds here in San Diego nest all year round, not just in the summer. So, please be conscious of this before you take your dog, off-leash, to run around at the water's edge.
Also, rattlesnakes are very common around the lake and not all the other dogs being walked around the lake like other dogs.