No killdeer were seen yesterday and a lot of other birds were "missing". It was very cold that morning, so that may be why. I did a bird count and the number of mallards have decreased %60 since the end of last November. Coots have declined %40 and most of them are hanging around the main parking lot of Lake Murray. Ruddy ducks are very few, but lesser scaups are holding steady in their numbers.
This lesser scaup was looking for something to eat:
Here's the domestic duck posse. Actually, I think they're all after Oreo as a mate. There was a female Pekin duck not in the photo.
These two ganders were caught fighting, but not seriously. They're actually best buddies, though. However, it may just be that they like to keep an eye on each other.
Those two bossed around these other geese before their wrestling match:
And the osprey was fishing nearby, almost hit some ducks while diving into the water:
This juvenile ring-billed gull arrived with the other ring-bills last month. I took this photo on January 18th and tried to catch him, but he kept swimming out in the water. He and another gull both had this problem with their wings. Possibly, they were playing and strained or pulled their wing muscles. On Sunday, he looked like he was healing and was even flapping his wings and getting lift. Yesterday, I found him dead in another area. It looked like he died in his sleep. His feet was folded up under him and his eyes were pretty much closed and his wings in the same position as in this photo. I looked at his hurt wing and there was no break or any other visible problems, so it was probably only strained. Something else must have been wrong with him. The other gull with this problem is doing OK.
The two geese that were hanging out across the lake in the ballfield area have not been seen in at least a week. It's possible that they're a pair and may just be nesting somewhere. Or, perhaps, someone came and picked them up. I haven't seen any indication that the coyotes got them. I saw them last Tuesday night in an area close to where the coyotes hunt. They can't fly, so if they didn't get caught by the coyotes, then someone had to have taken them out.
Also, one of the Canada geese has been missing for a while, but they can fly, so he might have just flown away
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