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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Miracle and Killer Jr.'s chicks

When I visited one of the ballfields today, I saw a killdeer doing a broken wing act.  I thought it would be strange for Pollux to be doing a broken wing act when his chicks were full grown.  But, it wasn't Pollux, I think it was Miracle!

I didn't see any chicks when I first passed through, probably because the sprinklers were going.  But, I could hear her "talking" to them.  Later, when I came back, I found two little chicks and dad was "patrolling" an area near some brush, so I think there was at least one or two more in there.  They were so tiny!  In the distance, they look like little balls of fluff:

Here is mom with the two chicks.  The gate was locked, so I couldn't get into the field.  Even if I could, I wouldn't be able to get a great shot because all the birds would have scattered and hid.

I think I saw a boy and a girl chick, but I'm not sure as I couldn't get too close:

In other news, that cute young duck was seen being cute and friendly:

Bossy Mama is down to her last duckling, now about 8 days old:

I still only see one coot chick from the three that I saw earlier.  There was a big turtle nearby, too:

These two coot chicks from the other side of the lake are growing very fast.

I also got a photo of a Clark's grebe.  There were several Clark's grebe and some western grebes there today.

The two brown pelicans are still there.  Fish Food Mama still has her five ducklings.  No sign of the eight ducklings I saw a few days ago.  Hurt wing is still limping very badly, but alive and hungry!  The two sister ducks are also doing well.  I think Neo is doing fine, too, but he is blending in with the other drakes going through eclipse, so I can't pick him out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lost ducklings return!

Today was a warm, sunny day and I found a few "lost" ducklings at the lake today.  My first puzzle was this little duckling just getting her speculum feathers, but still has down on her back.  I would say she is probably a little younger than Neo.  I think it's one of Brown Mama's ducklings and she has Brown Mama's brown head:

Later, I saw her feeding in Neo's feeding area, but I know it's not Neo because of the orange bill.  Neo was out hanging around with the older drakes.

Here are two ducklings that I think were the two that I saved from a gull back about a month or 6 weeks ago.  One duckling looks a little older than the other, but they were still vocalizing like ducklings.

This duckling just showed up out of the blue and started hanging around Fish Food Mama and one of her daughters.  Fish Food Mama is just about to chase her away in this photo.  She has her full speculum feathers, but not her primary feathers.  I don't have a clue who she is.

Her markings on her face look almost exactly like Neo's last sibling and I have found no other duckling close to this age with this face marking.  Plus, she has the same chin markings and marking at the edge of her bill as this duckling, too.  However, she seems to be a week or two older than Neo.  I am wondering if someone "rescued" this duckling, thinking it was abandoned, and it was re-released recently.

Neo's last sibling

I don't think ducks begin get their speculum feathers until they are about 10-12 weeks of age and, I think Neo is about 10.5 weeks old now, but I haven't seen him getting his speculums.

Bossy's mom has only two ducklings now and she was seen right under the heron's nest.

Not a good idea to be a duckling under a heron's nest when the baby herons are fledging:

We have a new bunch of baby ducks today, here they are passing by the gauntlet of gulls on the beach.    Mom was great and did a good job fending off the gulls.  Half her brood is rouen-ish looking and they all look very sleepy in this photo.  I think this is Big Daddy's daughter, but I'm not sure:

Fish Food Mom still has her five ducklings, four pictured here:

Mama with two:


The two sister ducks are now fully feathered and ready to fly:


This is a juvenile killdeer who is hanging around with Giant killdeer. I think it's Pollux Junior, but I'm not sure:

Pollux and his two daughters were in another field.  Here is Pollux chasing away another male, possibly either a cousin or even a younger sibling, who seems interested in his two girls:

Pollux does not approve of this male as a mate for his daughter

Keeping an eye on the other, young, male

Protecting Smudge

Smudge didn't see interested in the male and came up to me to check me out.  Her dad is in the background all puffed up:

 Peanut was heard, but not seen.  When the dad and the other male parted, Smudge followed her dad.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Bossy Ducklings

Well, I think I know why Spoonface has been hanging around this one area.  His mom had more ducklings.

Here is Bossy (Spoonface) with the ducklings, his mom and I think that might be his sister on the bottom:

I saw Butterscotch with her four out of six larger ducklings last Thursday in the same area, but did not see her today.

Neo was seen hanging out with the bigger male ducks, but still peeps like a duckling when his mom is around:

This molting wood duck reminds me of Doodle, I think it's Doodle's Bully:

This is unusual, a pied-billed grebe on land.  Usually that means it's sick or injured.  He seemed fine, though.

And, one of the young killdeers.  This one is tentatively named Killer III:

Fish Food Mama was seen with all five of her ducklings, but I couldn't get a photo of them.  And, the two brown pelicans are still hanging around, but I still haven't seen them feeding on anything.

Still no sign of Cinnamon's Twin, but I seem to remember a lake staff member saying she brought a duck to Project Wildlife because she was covered with blood.  I will have to ask about that as I think it might have been Cinnamon's Twin.  If it is, it is unlikely she will be re-released back at the lake because she's a non-flying hybrid.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All is fine, it seems

All seems fine today at Lake Murray.  Fish Food Mama still has her five ducklings:

The lake's two oldest ducklings are still alive and doing well:

Neo was hanging out with his mama:

Bossy (Spoonface) has new friends.  One is the sick duck that seems to be much better.  The other might be "Hurt Wing", but I'm not sure.  She was standing on one leg and I thought I saw a "normal" looking wing on her bad side.

I also saw two ash-throated flycatchers there.  Here is a photo of one:

Here is the same one flying:

And, I saw a western kingbird hanging out.

 Here's a photo of one of the new juvenile killdeer, possibly Killer's new son:

And, here is Squeak and Pollux's son.  He was hanging out with the "giant" killdeer who constantly called and flew around him.  But, I think this little guy likes hanging out with him.

Smudge and Peanut were also seen and Peanut was seen flying!  I did not see Pollux and Squeak today, though.  And, Cinnamon's Twin duck and Quacker are still missing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Looking for the curlew sandpiper

I've been hearing reports of a curlew sandpiper in the Imperial Beach area for the last few days and decided to go check it out because I missed the last one that was there.  Well, I didn't see this one, either.  I did see some of these other birds, though:

Reddish egret

Gull-billed tern

Cliff swallow gathering mud

Cliff swallow nests on nearby apartment buildings
I also saw lots upon lots of black-bellied plovers in non-breeding plumage and semiplamated plovers in breeding plumage, too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A few pictures from the lake.

I went to the lake today to check up on some of the ducks at Lake Murray.  I did see Mom of Five (Fish Food Mama) and her ducklings, but it was too dark and drizzly to take a picture of them.  I saw these two ducklings, the last two of ten from the very first bunch of ducklings running up a hill to get in the drainage ditch.  Just after they ran up the hill, a man with his loose dogs came by.  I'm glad I was there to hurry them along.   I just hope the man didn't come back that way, later.

They're starting to get their flying feathers, now.  In about a week, they should be flying.

This is Mama's Little Weakling:

The two sisters together:

I also saw several coot families.  This one had two chicks.  The dad was very brave and when I came up to the water, he confronted me and tried to distract me.  But, as soon as he realized I wasn't going to hurt his chicks, he and his mate went back to feeding them:

The hawklets are just about ready to fly and reign terror on anything weighing less than 6 pounds in that area.  Hopefully, the two ducklings will be OK as they are right in their hunting path.  Several animals have already gone missing around there, including a snowy egret and the two sisters' sibling:

I did not see Neo and Hurt Wing.  It's good not to see Hurt Wing today as three big male ducks were in the area where she was last seen.  Hopefully, she has moved out of that area away from them.  It has also been a long time since I've seen Cinnamon's Twin.  Her boyfriend, Fingerbiter and his best friend have been seen a lot without her.  I have a feeling she is no longer alive as she was looking rather beat up when I last saw her.  She was such a wonderful, friendly duck just like Cinnamon.

Junior, the killdeer was seen hanging out with George III.  No sign of Smudge and Peanut today, but the "Giant" killdeer was seen by himself.  All the killdeer were being extremely quiet.  Junior ran up to me as soon as he saw me, possibly to protect George III, but perhaps because he was hiding his chicks nearby and wanted to distract me.