Today is the first day of the Great Backyard Bird Count, 2011 and I was out counting birds at Lake Murray. Unfortunately, I found out that someone found Buffy near death early this morning. He died shortly afterward. His last photo is posted above. For the last two weeks, he was treated like an outcast by his own offspring and group that he's been a member of for about two years. He was also very friendly towards me and started following me around when I visited the last couple times. There must have been something wrong with him or he might have been sick. He acted like he was very hungry and I don't think he ever learned to properly forage. I'm sorry he had to spend his last days alone and lonely. I also usually start my walks near where he is, but didn't today, so I didn't get to see him one last time.
The next photo is of three ducks that were dropped off in October, I think. They're doing well, but they want nothing to do with any other ducks. The males don't even want other females who seem to flirt with them.
Quacker ran up to see if I had any treats:
The lesser scaup are venturing close to shore, looking for handouts. They usually do this time of year right before they migrate. They almost never come on land because they are severely boat shaped and can't walk right when they do. Their legs are placed far to the back unlike the mallard-type ducks:
I thought this was a gadwall until I looked more closely at the photo. There were two wigeons in severe molt.
Finally got some wood ducks counted. This looks like Doodle's Placekeeper"
This one looks like Doodle's bully:
Doodle's Placekeeper and a female:
Here's a bufflehead, the only one left at the lake:
Big Daddy (AKA Cinnamon, Paprika):
This next duck is one I don't think I've ever seen before. She was pretty friendly and quacked a lot, but wouldn't let me get too close. Her wings are kinda messed up. I sure hope she wasn't released her before she was able to fly. I am a little concerned about her.
I had to take this picture of a common yellowthroat through a fence. There were more than usual today:
And, from my house, the two baby hummingbirds! One of them was practicing his flying yesterday.
Uh oh, the killdeer are thinking of nesting in the ballfields again. I sure hope they don't. I think this is the M6 mom and dad.