I found a couple of fun and pretty gulls at Lake Murray today. I think they might be Thayer's gulls, but I'm not sure and will see if anyone can identify them. UPDATE: They are small herring gulls, not Thayer's gulls. The key is the pale eyes and the dark wing tips. I usually see herring gulls larger than this.
The photo above and the next two are of the adult.
It was swimming about with this beautiful juvenile.
Both adult and juvenile are smaller than a western gull, but at possibly as big or a little bigger than a California gull.
I saw a northern flicker, too. Not terribly unusual, but the first time I've seen one at Lake Murray:
The killdeer are still around the ballfields, but I didn't see Smudge and her new mate. In this next photo, it appears to be an adult male and two juvenile males and a juvenile female. The male looks like Pollux, but could also be Shy's Mate (now named Yeller). I thought I also saw Miracle and Killer Jr. hanging around, too. Miracle looks a lot like her grandfather at that age.
This little mallard in the next picture is in big trouble. He's got an impacted crop and I think he's been like that for several days. I think this is the duck that hasn't been feeling well lately, possibly for the last few weeks. I saw him eat a lot of grit and rocks, which might be good and help his food pass through. He was running around normally and even ate a few pieces of bread (which might make things worse!) before drinking some water. Then, he tried to push the food down with his head. It really looks bad. I've seen this happen to another duck and it got better, so I am waiting a little while to see what happens with him.
I don't think this is Indy, even though he was very friendly like Indy is. I think this might be one of the 8 mallard ducklings someone dropped off last summer. I thought I saw Indy hanging out with Neo and eating healthy plants and insects in another area.
"Oreo" is missing! The black Swedish duck known as "Oreo" was not seen at all today. I couldn't find him anywhere, though I thought I heard his deep voice calling from where the body of his friend was found a couple of weeks ago. He's not following Cinnamon anymore, so I can't predict where he will be. The coyotes are very active right now, so I fear he's the next to "go missing."
Mystery Warbler: The "mystery warbler", the possible Virginia's warbler, was heard very briefly today, but not seen. He was heard close to the area where I last heard him around the 1.25 mile marker, but closer to the water this time.