I didn't see Tiny or any of George's family today, but all the ducks that were in their area were doing well and are healthy. So, I went to the other side of Lake Murray near the ballfields.
The first thing I saw was mama Cooper's hawk circling around Cowles Bay, probably looking for blackbirds. She soared around several times, but flew off before I could get a photo of her. She settled in the M6 breeding area where I could hear some yellowlegs protesting. Not long after that, a quiet and fast flying, slate colored, bird flew over my head and disappeared about a mile or so away. It could have been the falcon, but I'm not sure.
Then, after I fed Cinnamon, Flycatcher's mama, and their boyfriends, I walked up the path to see if the falcon had killed anything lately. I was surprised to see this one lone killdeer on the path, standing absolutely still, staring at me.
I walked closer, talking to him, and he stood absolutely still until I was pretty much standing over him:
Then, as I bent down, my bags dropped too fast and he jumped a few feet away and deeted:
I got closer and kneeled down, but he flew away to where I saw another killdeer waiting. The other killdeer, from the back, looked like Firecracker:
Then, both began to behave normally and flew off to hide somewhere.
What freaked me out was that I have never gotten that close to a healthy adult killdeer before. I thought he was sick or injured, so I was almost going to pick him up. Even after that first time, he still wasn't afraid of me. I couldn't see the front of him and I couldn't exactly match him to any of the killdeer I have seen before at the lake. Possibly, he's a rehabilitated killdeer, raised in a cage and accustomed to human interaction.
He does look a little like Surprise, but I'm not sure unless I see him from the front and I didn't see his crest. Perhaps he was so freaked out by the falcon that he didn't want to fly off. Or maybe he was hurt by the falcon or the hawk and got away.
I hope he stays OK.
In the meantime, I did take a photo of some northern shovelers swimming with a grebe:
Birding In Troubled Times
3 days ago