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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Doing the happy dance

Killer was doing the happy mating dance for his Digger yesterday. She sorta responded by doing her own dance back to him.

I found this duck egg right around where Cinnamon likes to sleep. I don't know if it's hers or it just washed up there with the last rain. It looked really fresh, so it was probably laid that morning:

Lots upon lots of flowers at the lake right now:

I am thinking of changed Digger's name to something else now that she's grown. I haven't figured out what I will call her, yet.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lake Update

Nothing much going on at the lake. I got a report of ducklings last weekend, but I looked very hard and saw no sign of them. Many of the female ducks have disappeared, but a few are around.

This duck looks a lot like Peaches, one of the "Fish Food" ducklings from last summer:

Digger and Killer were there in the morning, but all the killdeer had completely disappeared within a few hours. Here's a photo of Digger:

Kinda reminds of this baby photo of her:

Ducky was there. I think his girlfriend is gone, but there was another female with him and about ten other drakes were following her around:

And, finally, it looks like the western kingbirds are back:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cloudy Day

Today was a bit of a cloudy day at Lake Murray, but all is well with all the ducks. Many of the migratory birds, such as the scaup, are leaving the lake. Female mallards are beginning to disperse to their nesting sites. The only ones that don't seem to be doing that are the young ones that hatched last year.

Digger and Killer were doing well. Even though the Cooper's hawks have been visiting their area regularly, they still manage not to get caught:



Bob1 was there, feeding, but when the coots began to move around, she panicked to get out of the way. She's starting to turn into her summer colors with spots beginning to show more:

I figured out that the male great blue heron is actually managing two females. Here is a photo of the "alpha" female:

Here is the new M4 male. I no longer think he's paired up with Firecracker as I got a good look at the female. She's got too thick of a breast band to be any of George and Martha's offspring:

Digger's mom and dad were setting up a breeding area in a weird spot, right out in the open and away from the water. I have no idea why they're there and not returning to their old breeding area. Here is a photo of the dad getting upset at me for being close by:

I thought I should throw in this photo of a northern mockingbird. The small specks in the photo are actually gnats which are in great numbers at the lake right now:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birds are migrating again

It seems like the winter birds are beginning to leave and the summer birds are starting to come in. For example, I swear I saw some cliff swallows and terns yesterday. Also, there seems to be fewer scaups and redheads lately.

Lots of pretty grass and flowers all over the place, too.

First thing I saw yesterday morning was a turkey vulture eating a coot. The coot died a week ago, probably from a raccoon attack. Vultures seem to like food that's been rotting for a week:

I saw the sick seagull and he seemed better, but still sick:

These lesser scaups were cute, though.

I only saw a few killdeer, but I could hear George and Killer doing calls.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Visitors today in George Killdeer's area

Mary or Firecracker?

Today, there were some visitor's to the feeding area. One looked a lot like Firecracker, but didn't have her forehead marks. I couldn't make out who the visitors were, they were both small. But, I think one was almost definitely Mary and the other didn't look like her mate, but did look like a very young male, possibly one of her sons.

It's amazing how the two sisters look alike and like their mother

Killer kept an eye on the two of them while Digger stayed on the other side of the lake. George's son definitely let them know that he was the boss of the area. According to his actions, Mary was welcome, but the other one was not.

Killer and Mary

Eventually Digger came over, but remained hidden under some rocks. Later, they flew away to different spots. The young male started to follow Killer, but he trilled and swiped at him, so the male went somewhere else.

Also seen today was lots of white crowned sparrows:

And, a few Towhees:

This kingfisher was sitting on a wire and looked at me a little angrily:

Then, he flew over to a tree:

Curly was seen today and I tried to feed him some millet, sunflower seeds and a little cat food. However, two other young males kept attacking him, so I stopped. I've seen these males bite and attack curly before, almost pulling his tail feathers out. Curly is usually a high-ranking male, but these two have been bullying him a lot lately. I didn't want to encourage Curly to stay in the area and keep getting attacked, so I left.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Killdeers get nervous

Digger, running

Love is still in the air and the killdeer are beginning to get back to their noisy selves. They call and trill more than they did over the non-breeding season. Killer, especially, seems particularly upset about me and does a mobbing call sometimes when he sees me.

Killer is beginning to look more and more like his dad that I thought he was George for a minute. But, his body shape is more like his mother's:


Digger looks a lot like her dad in her markings and her head shape, though less rounded than her dad's:


This gadwall was hormonal, chasing all the other male mallards around and trying to flirt with the females, even females that are already in established pairs:

Here's a lovely duck couple, a "chocolate" duck and one of Big Daddy's daughters:

They were rooting around in the mud with a few coots:

I saw a couple of coots lovingly grooming each other. It was so cute. Each was taking turns grooming the head of the other one:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Birdy update

I have been busy lately, so sorry I haven't updated in over a week.

We had some cold days and rain lately. Just before the cold snap, Tom didn't look as good as he usually does. His chest was a little caved in, he's lost weight and one of his eyes was runny.

However, a few days later, he looked a lot better. It's suspected that eating bread and junk food may be causing him some issues. Lately, there has been less people at the lake feeding the birds and that could be why he got better.

Killer and Digger haven't been in the feeding area lately, but I did hear them flying over the water treatment plant. On the other side of the lake, the new M4 male has been battling it out for his territory. I think I've seen Shy and Firecracker in the area, but am not certain.

At my home, the pool phoebe hasn't been around much since around the time the rain stopped. A few days ago, he was seen sitting on the TV antenna with his dad who was doing territorial calls. I don't know if he moved somewhere else or something happened to him:

Also seen: Curly, who is doing very well. And, the sick seagull looked like he was on his way to recovery. And, of course, Big Daddy, Cinnamon, the chocolate ducks, Big Boi and the domestic posse are all doing well. But, that new cayuga female has not been seen in a few days.

And, I finally got a photo of one of the moorhens at Lake Murray! I have been trying for a while, but they would scurry away by the time I got my camera out: