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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jill can fly!

Pollux's mate in the ballfields
Came to the lake and heard Louie and the Canada geese making a ruckus.  I thought that Louie and Picked On were fighting, but then I saw Jill moving away from the area with two Canada geese as chaperons.  I think she came over and is considering Louie as a mate as it is the beginning of the season.  Then, the two Canada geese started flying and so did Jill!  She only got about two feet above the water, but she flew most of the way.  Never thought I would see that.

Here is Louie back on his side of the lake.  He's scared of going to the other side.  Jill stayed on the other side, but stayed in a place where she can easily see or hear Louie.


Spoonface is on the move with his orange ring, now seen closer to where he usually is, but heading north.

Here is a photo of a friendly female scaup.  Several males and females were close by:

This dove was sitting on the speed limit sign at the lake.  The speed limit is really for people on bikes.  There's been a few accidents there between bikes and pedestrians.  

I opened a new Cafe Press story selling some of my photos on T-shirts, etc.  It's called Just Ducky by Darlene.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I went really early and found a couple people feeding the ducks while it was still dark.  Many of the ducks flew off as I came up.  But, then, as I was talking about Spoonface (Bossy), a little scruffy duck walked up.  At first, I thought it was Poquito, but then I saw the weird wing feathers and finally, I saw the orange ring!  It was Spoonface!  He has almost got is full colors and it looks like many of his flying feathers grew back.

You can still see the ring around his neck

Then, in a flash, he was gone.

Also there was who I think is Doodle's Placekeeper who was there with his female, but I'm not sure.

There was one bufflehead at the lake, here he is flying away:

All the geese were across the lake, including Jill.  Louie is too scared to go over there.  Here he is with Picked On.  I wonder if Picked On is a girl, maybe she's in love with Louie and that's why she doesn't want him to be with Jill.  But, I've seen them fighting, so I'm fairly sure he's a boy.

**Photo below may be graphic:

Final end for a lesser scaup, feeding the vultures.  I think he died naturally and did not die a violent death.

To compensate, here is a living lesser scaup, female:

And, a whole bunch of lesser scaups in the same area, all alive, too.

Pepper was there along with his "normal" brother.  His "weird" brother was across the lake.

Pretty male Anna's hummingbird:

Compare that one to my mystery hummingbird.  I wish I could compare size, but the one below is very tiny.

And, finally, a decent photo of a Bewick's wren:

Update on the sick/hurt California gull.  The people who said they would take care of him claimed that they couldn't find him later on that day.  The next day, he was found dead near the water.  His photo will be added to the Lake Murray Birds Memorial Album on George Killdeer's page on Facebook.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rain today

You can see the rain in the above photo.  That's the mystery hummingbird.  Below, is another similar hummingbird that was close enough to me so that the flash illuminated her orange-ness.  So, I think they're rufous or Allen's hummingbirds.

Another sick young gull, time, a California gull.  He's more mobile then the other one, but very weak.  Didn't even want to get out of the rain.  He's also got a busted foot.  The lady that helped me last time wasn't there, so I had to leave him.  Another staff member said he would take care of him later, but I don't know if they will remember.  I don't think he'll make it much longer.  He is acting like Hop-a-long Bill was before he died.

Here's a photo of a spotted towhee:

Somebody lost some of their feathers, probably one of the raptors.  I did see Big Mama Cooper and she was fine:

Big Daddy (whom I also found out is not only called Cinnamon, but Paprika, too), still hanging in there:

Cinnamon (with Pepper trailing after her):

When I first arrived, I could not find Louie!  But, his Canada goose friend was nowhere to be seen, also, so I figured they were together.  I saw them later.

This is Louie's companion, Picked-on.  I originally thought he was the one that was stolen last year, but, nope, this is him.  He's a total nutcase.  Him and Louie fight and I don't think Louie likes him, but he likes Louie and if Louie's not around, he will keep calling for him:

I've been seeing Not Pepper around lately, but he's being a pain to photograph:


Pepper's been very co-operative:

Haven't taken a photo of this guy in a while, it's Stumpy (Or Stubby-tail).  He was one of the ducklings hatched two years ago in Alvarado Bay:

And, finally, I thought I'd get a photo of Ducky, another duck I haven't photographed in a while, and his mate.  Ducky still never got his colors 100% and now he's beginning to molt again:

Bossy is still missing and I saw the Northern Harrier eating a coot where he was last seen.  I sure hope that she didn't get Bossy, too.  I also didn't see Hurt Wing and Curly, either.  It's possible that Bossy is hiding out until the hawk goes away.  Also, Peaches and Caramel were seen today, too.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A day at Famosa Slough

It stopped raining long enough to go on the monthly bird walk at Famosa Slough.

First, here are a bunch of American avocets.  Also around the same spot are a whole bunch of killdeer.


Eared grebe:

American kestrel:

Blue-winged teal:

Ruddy ducks:

Northern pintails:

Also seen was a peregrine falcon, black-crowned night heron, great blue heron, kingfisher, black and Say's phoebe, but NO stilts!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Small birds and killdeer

Today, I took photos of small birds and killdeer at Lake Murray.  It was very cold this morning and many wild ducks were missing today, including Cinnamon, Bossy, Curly, Hurt Wing, Peaches, Pepper, and others.  All the domestic ducks and geese were accounted for.

First, here are some bushtit photos.  Bushtits never stay still, so it's often hard to get clear photos of them:

Next, we have a mystery hummingbird.  I saw this juvenile bird a week ago behaving much differently than the Anna's.  I thought it was a Costa's, then saw some orange-ness to it and thought maybe a calliope, Allen's or juvenile rufous.  Now, I think it's a Costa's again.  

I'm still on a quest to get a good common yellowthroat photo.  While this one was in a good position, it still came out too blurry.  

I saw a bunch of tree swallows, where else, in a tree!  They were swarming back and forth from the tree and across the lake:

Next, are the killdeer.  I've lost track of identifying many of the killdeer, but I think the first is either Martha and George or Martha and her daughter who looks like George.  In the third photo down, George III can be seen to the right.  Other than that, most of the photos look like the rest of the juveniles as well as a few from across the lake.