Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I still only see two chicks. However, though it's really hard to be totally sure from all the photos I took, it appears that the two chicks in the ballfield, today, are the two female chicks. So, today, the male chick is nowhere to be seen. One chick seems to be more mature than the other:
It was cloudy when I first arrived. I didn't see any heron chicks, but found this adult heron. I did see one chick later on. However, about 100 yards from the heron nest were all these mostly eaten parts of what looks like a wood duckling, baby coot, and even a pigeon. The duckling might have been another baby coot. I know the red-shouldered hawk likes to roost in that tree, so I'm thinking that he raided the heron's larder as I've seen him in their tree now and then.
Neo was finally seen close enough for me to get a photo of him. He is 38 days old now and is very feathered out for this age.
His bill is also turning very green, usually something that doesn't happen until at least seven weeks. I can already see no distinguishing marks on his bill, so after he matures, I may not be able to distinguish him from the others.
I found this mama with one duckling, possibly about three weeks old, in the drainage ditch.
Fish Food Mama's ducklings were seen. Here are four, Indy was just out of the photo:
Here is Indy:
Mom and the duckling that likes to stay near her:
This squirrel was really upset with me and made it clear that he thought I was a danger by screaming at me.
Big Daddy has decided to join Cinnamon's group and follow her around. It seems like Stubby was displaced:
The smaller duck was warned away by the bigger duck when he passed close by:
Two baby coots nearby:
Finally, we say good-bye to this wonderful little ruddy duck. I don't know what happened to him, he was found near where the duckling or baby coot parts were. Some of his feathers look like they got plucked, but otherwise he was intact and it didn't look like he had any injuries. He was also found on the opposite side of bay from where he usually hangs out. It's possible the red-shouldered hawk attacked him, but he doesn't look like he's been attacked. I thought it was strange that he was still at this lake this time of year when all the other ruddy ducks had left. He also slept a lot, too, and wasn't getting into his adult colors as fast as he should. Perhaps he was old and it was his time to go.
Another thing I noticed was a lot of feathers in one area and I can't figure out who they belonged to. They kinda look like gadwall feathers and the gadwall was missing, but he was also in molt and his feathers had changed. I also didn't see the Pekin and Swedish duck in that area, which is also strange. Hopefully, they are OK. In another area, I saw several small white feathers near where the snowy egret likes to fish. They seemed to be too small to be egret feathers, but it's the only explanation. I think something got him, too, or he was attacked and went to another area.