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.
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.