Today was the first day of the four day "Great Back Yard Bird Count". This year, people are counting birds all over the world, not just here. Because I work on weekends, I did two counts. The first one was at Lake Murray where I counted 55 species (but only 54 are being "counted" because one of my sightings was a barn swallow that is out of season in this area).
To my surprise, I found the little call duck alive this morning! He was near his usual area and hanging out with another male mallard. I thought he had been caught by a coyote, so I was really surprised.
I think this *might* be Zippy, one of the last ducklings to hatch and survive last year. She looks a lot like her mother in the face, but her body shape is a little smaller and rounder.
And, look who I saw. It's Bossy! His ring is back around his neck again. You can see where he had it around his head before. He's so healthy otherwise. Hopefully he will continue not to have any problems with that ring.
I think Bossy likes Zippy. She seemed a little bit indifferent to him. She's still young.
Then, I went over to Fiesta Island and counted birds there for almost an hour. There were some marbled godwits and willets there. That willet is excited about that seaweed and wouldn't share.
Another willet somewhere else. He was hanging around a flock of gulls and walking up to a couple in a car who was stopped near a trash can. That was strange. I think he was just curious about the people in the car.
Another marbled godwit:
I am not sure, but I think this might be a herring gull getting ready to molt into his third year. I thought it was a juvenile western gull, but the colors are not right.
Brant, coots and buffleheads:
This brant came up when I called. I think he/she was curious about me.