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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gaddy the gadwall returns

I was thinking of Gaddy the beautiful gadwall this morning and how I hadn't seen him for a while.  But, he showed up for me.  Gaddy was one of two gadwall ducklings hatched at the lake and he lives there all year around.  I think his sister, though, took off with a male mallard as I haven't seen her since last fall.  Gaddy is molting and he doesn't look as cute as he did when he molted last year.

I threw in this photo of Bumblefoot who is still alive and still in pretty bad shape.  I hope she heals more.

 Canal Mama is doing well with her four ducklings, but they were not in the canal, but out on the lake.

Fish Food Mama's ducklings are getting their wing feathers.  I only saw 7 of them, but I'm sure the rest were there, hiding.  They should be able to fly in a couple of weeks.

I saw this mother with 9 tiny ducklings, a day old.

She was not doing a very good job of organizing them and made very little vocalizations.

Unfortunately, while I was there, two gulls made several attempts at grabbing one of her ducklings.  I managed to shoo the gulls away, but after I left, I saw them attack again, but didn't get any.  The mom seemed to be clueless about the gulls.

I think this mama lost all her ducklings to gulls last year in another area.  At least she tried to raise them in a different area this year.  But, I don't expect these ducklings to survive.  None of the ducklings in this area have survived so far.  The only ducklings that seem to survive are the ones with very organized, bossy mothers.

She even led the ducklings right up to this night heron.  But, at the time, I think he just wanted to sleep.

The osprey chicks are just about ready to fly off.  Their parents are trying to coax them from the nest.  One seems interested.

And, finally, I have to say "good-bye" to Big Daddy.  Here's his last photo, taken while he was sick early in April.  He seemed to get better and disappeared a couple weeks later, most likely with the other males in his group. I suspect he got too weak and curled up in the brush or reeds and died.  He's been gone before, but never for a month or more.  He was there at least four years.   I also said "good-bye" to several other ducks such as Cinnamon's Twin's Twin, the crested rouen, and the "little girl" pekin duck that the males beat up.

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