Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
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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.

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