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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2 Ducklings Still Hanging On

Yellow-cheek's two ducklings are still hanging on.  I was a bit worried because I saw a gull eating one, possibly two ducklings and thought these were the ones they were eating.  But, I think what they were eating was the body of the missing yellow duckling who was weak and possibly drowned 10 days ago.  The water department has lowered the lake's water level by several feet within the last few days and that may have exposed the duckling's body.

But, these two are OK and very hard to get a photo of.  First of all, the mom is extremely bothered and wary of human beings, so she doesn't let me get too close.  As soon as too many people appear in the morning, she is quick to move her ducklings out of the area.

Secondly, as seen in the photo below, the two ducklings blend in extremely well, especially on an early cloudy morning.  They are starting to get their feathers and are at least 16 days old now, very small for their age.  They are still vulnerable to gulls, especially inexperienced ones, but are pretty much out of their swallowing range.

This little youngster may have been the Memorial Day single duckling.  She was last seen swimming into the sunset with her mom in early June.  She's still extremely small, but very bossy and I think she can take care of herself.  The new Pekins made sure to poke at her.

Sister duck was back in the canal sans her sister:

This young, very healthy, duck reminded me of Neo and Indy, but I think he's an adult.  He may be one of the two ducklings that were hatched about a week after Sister Duck or might even be Sister Duck's lost brother.

This Bewick's wren didn't seem to mind me at all and even sang a song for me.  Usually, they just jump around and scold me when I walk by.

The bald juvenile gull may actually be a herring gull and not a western gull.  I saw that because of the white borders of his back and wing feathers.  While juvenile western gulls also have a white border around their same feathers, it's less distinct and faded looking.

*Update*: Found out that this is either a juvenile California gull (because of the feather patterns) or it may, indeed be a western gull.  But, it is NOT an herring gull, which would be rare for this area this time of year.

He has grown the feathers back on his forehead, but not his face:

He was swimming around close to where I think the ducklings were hiding, but I don't think he found them.

Two very young juvenile killdeer were seen in Junior's territory near where his nest was.  They look to be about the age Junior's chicks would be, about 8 weeks old.  The one that looked like Tiny did when he was about 7 weeks old, that I saw a few days ago, may also be one of  Junior's chicks.

Young male

Young female

Good news about the fallen electrical wires.  They were fixed and Pollux, the Giant killdeer and Pollux's son were all play-fighting in the field.  I think Smudge and Peanut were over by the lakeshore feasting on bugs.  I also think I might have found where Miracle, Killer Jr. and their baby chick are hanging out, but can't access that area.

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