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, March 27, 2013

Cinnamon's missing

I visited the lake to check up on Bitey and Neo this afternoon and noticed all of Cinnamon's boyfriends by the boat dock--but no Cinnamon.

Later, I came back and found all her boyfriends where I usually see her this time of day, but, still, no Cinnamon.  I looked up and down everywhere and found not even a feather of her.  There is a lot of brush there, though, so she could have been stashed anywhere around there.  Or, she could be sitting on a nest.  I did hear a nearby hissing when I passed by a certain bush near where I usually see her.  But, that could have been a human or even another duck on a nest.  I looked through the bushes and still found no sign of her.

I've never seen this happen before.

I did finally find Oreo among all the other boyfriends.  They, then, all swam together around and around.  Usually, when they're with Cinnamon, they root around along the shore.  But, not tonight.  They just swam around.

Bitey is doing fine, by the way.  And, I thought I saw Neo pull his wing into a normal position for a second.  He's hanging out with Indy who bullies around Bitey.  Later, Indy, his brother, and Neo all went to this one area, but some people fishing threw rocks at him.  Indy and his brother flew off, but Neo was having a hard time getting away and I think he might have gotten hit.  :(

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bad news about Neo

I have bad news about Neo.  I've been seeing this duck with a hurt wing for almost a week now, but never got a good look at him until today.

Someone was feeding him with Indy and another small duck that might be Indy's brother along with Sweetie. I recognized him as Neo immediately, but wasn't a 100% sure and I really didn't want it to be him.  So, I took a photo to compare with Neo's other photos.  Sadly, yes, this does look like Neo in all aspects.  He will be one year old in a few weeks.

There are several ducks with hurt or broken wings at Lake Murray that have been flightless for over a year or more, so Neo still has a chance to live on.  I suspect he got hurt fighting with his mother's mate.  His mother may be on a nest nearby because it is that time of year when she nests.  Or, maybe Bitey got a hold of him.  But, I doubt it because the mallards like to boss Bitey around.  It doesn't look as bad as Pepper's or Hurt Wing's wings, but I haven't been able to see under it.  I'm hoping it's just sprained.

I've noticed that drakes with broken or hurt wings are rarely successful at breeding.

You might remember Neo from my Youtube Slideshow:  Neo, the Duckling that Lived!

Bitey's close call with bad humans:

Speaking of Bitey, I visited him today and gave him some food.  He also got another cup of food from someone else, so he got lots to eat this afternoon.  However, a lady told me that just before I arrived, several young men were surrounding him, feeding him something, and making comments that might indicate that they fed him poison or were going to hurt him.  They were also filming him with their cell phones.  When the lady came up, they were very rude to her, but they left.

I watched over Bitey for an hour and a half and I didn't see him acting unusual (for Bitey at least).  It's very possible that they were planning on doing something to Bitey, but the lady interrupted them.  I really need to get him a home, soon, before someone hurts or kills him.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cooper's hawk and crow

I was hoping to get some interactions between the male Cooper's hawk above and the crows that it was harassing and attacking.  I often seen Cooper's hawk attacking crows, but I haven't seen any crows get killed, tough I know Cooper's hawks do kill and eat crows.  The crows didn't seem very terrified of the hawk which was a bit smaller than they were, being a male Cooper's and not a female.

This particular crow got injured by the hawk and recovered.  When she was hurt, another crow came and comforted her and gave her food.  But, when she was better and after she was flying OK, they all moved off.  I wasn't fast enough to get any photos of the attacks.

The hawk stayed in the three and looked around, but I don't think he saw two killdeer in the grass, frozen and silent.  There was a male and a female killdeer there.  I didn't even see them until after the crows flew off.  But, the hawk wasn't interested in them, he wanted the crows and flew over to where they were at.

Attacking crows must be a dangerous thing to do for a small hawk.  I'm really surprised the crows didn't gang up on the hawk.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Update on the domestics and killdeer

The bitey duck is still there and he's still bitey.  However, if you feed him promptly, he is not so bitey.  And, I've noticed that he only likes certain people, so the general public are not in any real danger of being bitten from what I've seen, unless some kid runs up and tries to chase him.  I gave him his food in a small bowl to which he spilled a third of it and then ate the rest, pushing the bowl around.  He then turned around and ate what was on the ground.  When I picked up the bowl, he tapped my shoe, but did not bite.

This scaup pigged out on the rice, too, when I moved away.  It's funny watching scaup walking on land.  After all the food was gone, the Pekin and the scaup were following me around.  I tried to lead the Pekin to some other Pekins, but as soon as he saw them, he turned around and went the other way.  Later, the Pekin's friend came to check up on him, but was detoured by two fishermen, so the two never got together.

Jill has been all alone lately.  I have no idea where her Canada goose friend and his white Chinese hybrid goose friend went to.  They probably went to a new place to eat and I just haven't found them, yet.  I thought those other two were both males, but maybe I was wrong and there's a female in that pair and maybe one is on a nest.

Louie comes up to Jill sometimes and makes googly eyes at her.  I think she's warming up to him and often grazes when he's nearby.

Louie often herds Jill to new places.  "Picked on" the Canada gander still hangs around, but keeps his distance when Louie is with Jill.  But, Jill and Louie are not a pair because if anything separates them or if Louie goes away, Jill does not follow.

The baby Canada goose (now two years old) just swims around calling, but doesn't hang around anyone most of the time.

 I saw some wigeons who look like they're starting to molt.  The mallards haven't started molted and they're late in doing so.  They should have started molting by now.

There were three wigeons by the lake walking path:

Smudge and her mate:

There are two male killdeer hanging out in Junior's territory.  One acts like Killer Jr, so I think he might be Killer's son, George IV.  The other might be his brother, or could be George III who generally travels with Junior who should be arriving soon.

And, I have a baby hummingbird in my yard.  Or, I did until a couple of days ago.  I think he's all on his own now and his mom has a new nest.

Bigboi, the Cayuga duck seems a lot better today.  Big Daddy is hanging out with Cinnamon.  I saw no sign of Oreo at all and I looked all over for him.  But, I did see him last week, so he might be OK.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Updates on the ducks

I didn't realize that it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted (I thought it had only been one week).  I have been out taking photos, but haven't found any that were that great that I could write a whole blog post about.

Gaddy is still doing well, but has gotten very possessive with his girlfriend lately.  It's now the height of the breeding season and the males are getting more aggressive. When she wanders towards another male, he will grab at her.  Then, he will walk around her quacking loudly in his cute little voice.  He's also been fighting as you can see from his chest.

Bigboi is having a problems with parasites and, perhaps, something else.  I caught him coughing and gaping today, but it didn't seem too serious.  He's also itching really bad, too.  He was a little slow to wake up today, too.

Cinnamon says to leave her alone, she wants to sleep.  I think she laid a small egg today.  She tends to lay smallish eggs.

She's surrounded by her boyfriends.

And, Big Daddy is there, too.

This duck is acting strangely.  He doesn't move when people walk up and if you try to touch him, he will bite hard.  Today, I brought him food and he was much more friendly.  He has a hip/leg issue, which is why is probably doesn't get up when people walk up to him.  He also likes his food dry and in a bowl, not wet and on the ground (though he will eat it that way if he has to).  I am going to see if I can find a home for him.  If he acts like he's in too much pain, I will probably take him to the shelter.  He also likes to follow around fishing boats.  Overall, he seems to want to be with humans and not other ducks.

There was a pair of redheads, too.

And, finally, Smudge (who looks a LOT like her dad, Pollux), is a popular female killdeer on the lake.  She has yet another suitor interested in her.  She doesn't seem to be interested in him, though.