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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Falcons hunting ducks

Sleeping juvenile killdeer

Today, I went to check on the animals at Lake Murray, as usual, and I thought I heard a falcon calling. Then, I saw something that looked like a juvenile falcon, but wasn't sure. A few minutes later, I see a vulture flying around and right after that, an adult falcon chases him off. I went over to try to get the falcon's photo, stepping through a bunch of coot parts and a bad a smelly area. But, he flew off and attacked some ducks across the lake. Luckily, the ducks saw him and got a good head start. However he, and the other bird, were very persistent. At one point, I saw something hit the water, but I think it was a ruddy duck or coot taking a dive. As far as I know, no one was hurt and I didn't see the falcons again (or get a picture).

Right under where the falcons were hanging out were about 15 ducks including Quacker, Peaches and her mates and daughters and some ducks that Project Wildlife released earlier this year. Here is one of the ducks that almost became a victim:

I also saw, in the same area, some eared grebes, but far off:

In other duck news:

Pepper, on the left, was being bullied by "Finger-biter", the large duck in the photo:

I also saw some wigeons:

And one of the shovelers:

A snowy egret (was eating crayfish, but couldn't get the shot fast enough):

The great blue heron:

Some unidentified juvenile killdeer:

And, finally, Baby Bob, the spotted sandpiper:

Also seen today:

Shy and her mate as well as what might be Miracle and her brother and Killer Jr. in the ballfield area. Hopefully, out of sight of the falcons.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More migrants

Now that hunting season has begun, I'm seeing more migrants come in to Lake Murray. Most of these migrants are accustomed to people shooting at them, so they tend to stay out of my camera's range. So, some of the photos might be blurry.

First, here's a redhead and a northern pintail:

Some eared grebes along with a couple of scaup:

A ruddy duck:

And, the usual:


That coot that has the deformed feet and may be partially blind:

Here's a juvenile wood duck that I was hoping would be Doodle when I first saw him waddling around, but it wasn't.

And, the killdeer. I think I saw George III and possibly his mom this morning. Later, I saw two females, both seemed young, but one is slightly older than the others if I judge by the pectoral feathers. I'm thinking that one might be Killer and D.'s chick and the other might be George and Martha's daughter. Or, both could be George's daughter or one could be related to Shy who had chicks last June.

I did not see Bossy, but I think I saw his girlfriend or her sister and brother. Also, not seen was Doodle. And, it looks like the owl got another duck sometime since Sunday, a male mallard. The feathers looks to be of the duck that was in bad condition and weak.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another foggy day.

It was another foggy morning today and many photos I took did not come out well at all, so only a few are posted for today. I had one of a yellow-rumped warbler, but it was too blurry to post.

First, here's George and Martha:

Although this photo is blurry, I wanted to show how big Baby Bob (front) is next to the killdeer (back). She doesn't have the long legs, but her body is almost as big as theirs. She's almost the size and shape of a ruddy turnstone.

Pepper, hanging out. Notice the nice pattern forming on his chest:

I found a pile of feathers under a tree and when I looked up, the male Cooper's hawk was eating a dove. He wasn't very co-operative with me getting his photo, so it didn't come out as well as I'd like. Here he is with the half-eaten dove. He's clutching it against the branch. You can see the belly and legs of the dove hanging out below the branch near his tail:

I also saw a couple of shoveler ducks, too:

Bigboi and Doodle were not seen, but it was foggy. It is very unusual not to see Bigboi in the morning. He was still missing when the fog lifted, too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shorebirds seen today 10/20/2011

Today, I took an accidental trip to Crown Point in Mission Bay. When I was driving by in my car, I saw a whole flock of black bellied plovers (with one dunlin hiding between them and possible a Pacific golden plover or two):

And, a few ruddy turnstones:

And a small flock of skimmers, too:

It was funny seeing the plovers hopping around on one leg because it was too cold to let the other leg down.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Foggy day

This morning was foggy almost all morning. The sun did come out in the afternoon, though.

George, Martha, Killer and Dee were spotted first. They were very vocal and flew around a lot doing their kill-dees over and over. Later, I heard sounds like a killdeer was being attacked by something, but didn't see anything. I'm betting the hawk was nearby, perhaps I was standing under it and they were trying to warn me. When I came through the second time, there were twice as many killdeer, it seems.

George and Martha

Killer and Dee


George's daughter

Pepper was there. He is absolutely fascinated with flying birds and loves to watch them. Here he is watching some pigeons flying around behind him. He loves to watch birds fly. I've never seen any bird be as fascinated by seeing others fly than Pepper. However, I have never seen him even attempt to fly himself. I wonder if he knows he can.

Bossy moved to a new location. Here he is:

Here is his ultra-friendly girlfriend:

I also saw Cinnamon:

The grumpy geese:

The juvenile Canada goose:

And, two towhees:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ducks and owls

Today, I found the body of a duck that I had known got attacked earlier this week. I saw the feathers scattered around, but didn't know who got caught until now. Here is a photo of the duck I took last year:

It is Ducky's friends' brother.

Here's what might be his duckling photo:

I would have never found him if it wasn't for these wood ducks:

I heard their calls and went to see if I could find Doodle when I found the duck. There was a huge great horned owl feather and a few others near the body. I think the owl stashed the duck in the tree, but it fell out into the water. I've seen skunk parts near there as well.

Ducky is fine. Here he is with his girlfriend, taken today. Her brother is nearby. So, the Three Musketeers are doing OK.

I also saw a female wigeon at the lake. First time I seen one there:

Also, a female Northern Shoveler. I had a hard time getting her photo as she kept staying in the shade.

Just for kicks, here's a photo of Louie, the gander:

And, Curly!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

George looks for hawks


Killdeer George seems to have moved the family away so that he can spot for hawks. Here he is looking for the hawks.

Looking with this eye:

Looking with his other eye:

The place where he was looking were two favorite trees used by the Cooper's hawk to attack the killdeer.

Earlier, Killer, Dee and George III were out alone, without George:

Killer and George III

And, Baby Bob, the GIANT spotted sandpiper was out. She's almost as big as the killdeer, bodywise. I tried to get a photo of her and the killdeer together, but it didn't look good, so I deleted them:

The baby coot is almost full grown. Mom caught a dragonfly and he demanded it be given to him. Part of it was. Then, he begged for more food.

The whole lake seems to be turning into Cootville. Only the coots and a few ruddy ducks were out. All the other ducks were hiding or under trees because of the heat.

Here are some ruddy ducks:

Bossy and his girlfriend:


Quacker and one of Pepper's sisters:

This kingbird has an itch:

Because of the dry weather, I saw many birds down by the water that I wouldn't normally see on the ground or at the water's edge such as this juvenile Hutton's Vireo:

No sign of Doodle or the wood ducks for a long time now.