I haven't done an update for a very long time, so here's a few photos I've taken at Lake Murray over the last week.
First of all, Baby Blue has me worried. His crop just keeps getting bigger. However, he doesn't act overly hungry or thirsty, so I'm hoping he's just being a pig and eating too much early in the morning. However, I did not see him yesterday and that has me worried as well.
Yesterday, I saw the "blonde duck" who now looks like he's half Saxony and half Buff, for sure, just like the females on the other side of the lake. He's also got a a little crest.
I also found these two. They were the two skinny ducks dumped off a few months ago. They have filled out now and are a big bigger and fatter. The female Cayuga has a problem with her nictitating membrane and may be having vision problems.
It's been cold in the early morning and many the ducks have their heads tucked it to warm the air going into their body:
Pepper also had his foot up in his feathers. By doing that, he can save 50% of his heat loss.
This poor duck can't do that because he is missing his foot, but he still thinks it's there and tries to put it in his feathers. He's the same duck that had fishing line totally killing his foot a couple months ago. I think he was rescued and had surgery. He seems to be dealing with his missing foot well and even stands on his leg stump:
Here is another mallard-gadwall pair, but it's not Gaddy:
Here is the beautiful male:
This is Gaddy and his mallard girlfriend. Gaddy is going to be three years old next year.
There were also buffleheads. This male had two females hanging around him, but the females disappeared:
A male canvasback was seen with his two girlfriends whom I didn't get a good photo of because of the distance:
The horned grebe was still there and giving everyone a good look close to the lakeshore. No sign of the hooded merganser:
The vultures were keeping the lake clean by eating a dead coot. They were mostly polite to each other and the one on the right seemed a little more dominant even though he looked younger:
This red-shouldered hawk was near the golf course and was definitely looking and waiting for something near the canals. I'm betting there's good mice and rabbit hunting up there: