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, September 28, 2011

Ducks again

Here are some duck photos again!

It's been very drizzly and dark in the morning, so I haven't been taking many photos. It does clear up later, but then all the birds are hiding.

Happy female northern pintail

Doodle's eye is much better and he's got a great appetite now.

Big Daddy!

And one of Bill (also known as "Hop-a-long Bill), the injured ring billed gull:

Killdeer update:

Couldn't get clear photos today.

I think George III might have found a mate, perhaps it's Miracle. Spike and Georgina are hanging out in the ballfields as is Killer Jr, whom the female used to hang out with. Killer Jr likes to hang out with the three boys, Squiggy, Castor and Pollux.

Big Mama Cooper was hunting this morning, I caught her by the lakeshore, cleaning herself after eating a dove. She looked a little like a duck on the shore from far off. I tried to get a photo of her, but she flew off.

Baby coot is still going strong. He's feeding himself more now.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wood duck fights

The wood ducks are actively fighting hard for their mates at Lake Murray.

Good news about Doodle. His other eye (not the one shown) is doing much better, though it is still swollen around the socket. He is opening it up all the way and it looks like he can see out of it. Also, he had a very big appetite today! One of the females was flirting with him. Hopefully, he doesn't get attacked by the three healthy males around there.

The female pintail came running up to me to see if I had any food:

The baby coot is still making it:

George III, Georgina and his parents were hanging around. Here's a photo of George III doing the plover shuffle with his feet. No one knows why they do this:

And, a photo of Baby Bob (with George III in the foreground) She's getting almost as big as the killdeers.

Someone dumped three big, beautiful ducks not long ago:

Also, this female has a damaged wing. I thought that perhaps it was one of Ducky's ducklings, but it appears that it's a domestic mallard because it looks like one of its hind toes has been clipped. Hopefully, its wing will get better, soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Canada Goose Arrives

A new Canada goose arrived at the lake today. It looks like a juvenile. A second goose was seen flying around the lake, possibly one of it's parents. Just over 2 1/2 months ago, a Canada gander named "Picked On" disappeared from the lake. It is rumored that he was stolen by someone in a van, possibly for food. But, I am hoping that "Picked On" disappeared so that he could start a family and is now getting ready to return. Here's a photo of the baby (that's not his parent in the background, but one of the resident Canada geese):

The juvenile coot with the messed up legs is doing a lot better and is perkier today:

Speaking of coots, here's a photo of the remaining baby coot that I took a couple of days ago. He's still alive and well. I think he's a boy because of the types of vocalizations he makes.

George and Martha have left for now, but Killer, Digger, Spike and Georgina are all together and getting along extremely well. Here's a photo of them without Georgina who was off to the side.

The killdeers on the other side of the lake are doing very well, but weren't in good picture taking range. I think I saw Miracle (identified by her body shape) and it looks like, possibly, Killer Jr. is courting her, though it could have also been one of her uncles.

Pepper was also seen today, too, but, again, not in good picture taking range. He's so pretty. He was hanging out with his mom and the "gray duckling", his brother. I am proud that Pepper doesn't follow the bread chain at the lake and prefers to be with other ducks doing duck things instead and eating natural food. He also has his dad's non-aggressive personality, but that may be a problem with him getting a mate or joining a bachelor group.

Finally, here is a photo of the wood duck that is beating up Doodle:

And, this is the female who seems to like that duck, but also Doodle as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Killdeer meet and greet

There seems to be a killdeer meet and greet going on at Lake Murray lately. This is normal for September as new killdeers migrate in and some killdeer migrate out. In George's territory, most of the killdeer hanging out there are related to George. Killdeer seen include George and Martha, Digger and Shy, Spike and Georgina and George III. I think I've seen Killer Junior and an unrelated female now and then. However, the rest of Spike's family seem to be hanging out on the other side of the lake and I think Killer Junior and the unknown female (possibly Miracle) and even Firecracker and Surprise seem to be hanging out in that area.

George and Martha

Georgina and Baby Bob

No sign of Pepper, but Doodle is looking a little better:

Martha and her duck friends

The friendly, happy ducks are still hanging out, but this one seems to be pulling out her feathers around her belly for some reason. She's too young to be brooding eggs.

Bossy duck is actually turning out to be a really bossy duck and bosses all the other ducks his size around.

The now single baby coot is still hanging around. I have a new photo of him, but haven't processed it yet. I did catch the heron trying to stalk him, but the baby was in an area that he couldn't get to. However, I could see that heron doing his best to figure out a way to get to him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stop throwing rocks for Pete's sake!!

Today was a sad day for the family of four coots near the end of Padre Bay at Lake Murray. They were doing perfectly well, both chicks strong and loud. But, a great blue heron began stalking them right after dawn. Then, he got one of the two chicks (the smaller one) and flew off.

Their last surviving baby

All the killdeer are fine. Just about all of the ones at the lake are juveniles from this year. I thought I only counted six today, but I may have heard Killer Jr. near the ballfields. The adults have completely disappeared.

Bob the sandpiper's baby was feeding in her territory. You can tell it's a baby by the way the feathers look on the wings and it's shorter tail. She's still downy, too. I took this before dawn, that's why it's dark:

I took this photo of Pepper today, he's looking great and I love the green-black feathers on his back:

And, here is a juvenile black-crowned night heron:

A rant about rock throwing:

I've been seeing less rock throwing at Lake Murray lately and it makes my visits there much more enjoyable not to see stuff like that happening. But, still, there are lots of kids who throw rocks and parents who actually throw rocks with them. Today was another day where ducks were actually hit by rocks thrown by kids and this time their parent/guardians thought it was funny. I had spoken to these people before because their kid was running around chasing the ducks, including Doodle, who is very sick right now. The adults did absolutely nothing about it.

It is not lake staff's job to act as rangers and they are often not around to stop these people. I am very tempted to start filming/photographing people who are harassing and throwing rocks at the ducks at the lake and parents do nothing to stop or think it's funny. I may start posting their photos here. This also includes people who let their dogs chase the animals, too. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, but I'm thinking about it. I may also take photos of license plates, too.

Throwing rocks at animals is not cute or funny!

Another warning: I have heard from many people who visit the lake who are very tempted to physically hurt people who do this.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Doodle's eye


Doodle's eye has gotten a little bit better, but is still swollen and full of puss. It's obvious that Doodle isn't feeling good because of it. He's not eating much and is losing weight. I'm just enjoying him as long as he's here as I don't know how much longer he can make it.

Pepper was seen very early, yesterday morning, trying to pick a fight with Buffy's group.

I also saw Bossy and his gang, but didn't get a photo. Here's a photo of his sister, though. His other sister was with Peep outside my usually walking area.

Also seen:

Some northern pintails. They were far away and were coming towards me until a coot chased them away:

Forster's and least terns were around, but I only got a photo of a Forster's tern:

A great white egret. I rarely see those at Lake Murray:

And, the Swedish and Pekin ducks along with their friends:


And, Quacker with another female who might be one of Pepper's siblings. Quacker was making motherly noises towards her. She always seemed to take an interest in the ducklings, but Peaches didn't let her get too close.

Both baby coots are doing fine. Here's mom feeding one of them:

Yesterday, I saw 4 juvenile Cooper's hawks hanging around the ballfields. I could tell they were attacking the young killdeer there by the screams the killdeer were making. I think they all got away. Spike and Georgina ended up in George's old territory:


Georgina (looks so much like her dad and grandfather)

George III was keeping his distance:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

More ducks and a killdeer romance

I think I saw Spike and Georgina in George's old territory yesterday. He was heavily flirting with her and doing courtship calls.

Georgina or a new female?

Spike and Georgina?

Killer was off to the side making sure they didn't get too comfortable in his feeding area. D was not around.

Here are some duck pictures I took yesterday:

This duck is being cautious with approaching me for food (which I didn't have):

Bossy duck is doing well:

Silly ducks, they saw me walking down to the water and saw some people setting up picnic tables, so they all come pouring out of the lake. Then, they realized that there was no food and all came running back.

Even ducks sometimes get their picture taken with their eyes closed. Also, I just noticed this female rouen. That makes two Cinnamon-type ducks at the lake. She's one of Bossy's new friends.

Also seen: Doodle! He was fine, but I couldn't take his photo as it was too dark when I saw him. And, a duck that I think is Poquito, Pip and Peep's brother.

I saw several of the wood duck babies, now almost indistinguishable from the adults: