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

Monday, December 23, 2013

RIP Louie the gander

Louie the gander was missing last Friday, but I saw a "white blob" swimming across the lake and thought that it might be him (or a pelican), so I decided not to be concerned.  I looked everywhere very carefully and saw no sign of him or that anything happened to him.  On Wednesday, he was perfectly fine and looked like he was beginning to fit back into the group after being ostracized after Jill's death.

Louie and Jill last March

Louie was very healthy, but wasn't eating a whole lot.  Nonetheless, he had good energy and muscle tone and I did see him eating some, so I didn't worry about him.  But, he was forced to stay away from the main group of geese, so he most likely slept alone.  This morning, I found a lot of white feathers near the reeds close to where they sleep.  The feathers went all around the reeds from back to front.  It looked more than just regular molting feathers that blow around sometimes.  I'm thinking Louie might have died last Wednesday or Thursday and maybe the raccoon found him while scavenging between Friday and today.  

I'm still holding out some hope that he's just hiding somewhere, but this is really unusual for there to be no sign of him for this long.  Even when he looked for Jill, I would always find him somewhere.  Louie was a very old gander who might have been more than 20 years old.

In other duck news, someone told me they found the headless body of a black and white duck in the trash, but I saw no sign of it.  This duck was the only duck missing at that time, but he was found today.  All the other domestic ducks are also fine.  There are two domestics that I rarely see that I can't verify that they're OK, but they live far across the lake. 

All the ducks are in breeding mode and doing honk-whistles.  Here's several male gadwalls chasing a female:

One in the mid-ground of the photo is doing a honk-whistle:

Baby Blue was also doing honk-whistles.  I also heard a lot of "rejection quacks" from females.

And, Rubberband and her brothers keep plugging along.  I don't know what happened to their mom, Eileen.  Last time I saw her, she seemed to be breaking away from them and going off with a male duck.

I also got a few killdeer photos:

I think this is George's skinny 2013 daughter:

And, I think this might be Little Miracle, though her head markings look a lot like Firecracker.  She was very friendly:

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