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

Friday, January 24, 2014

The ducks and coyotes are on the move

When I went to Lake Murray a couple of days ago, I've noticed that just about every non-flying duck has moved towards the boat docks where there is the most human activity and lighting.  The only non-flying duck that hasn't moved there, permanently, is the one I call the "fake muscovy" whom answers to the name of "Doug" or "Dougie" in which I will call him from now on.  When I went to the lake today, I noticed that the coyotes are frequenting much of the area around the ball fields where Doug, the "blonde" duck and a cayuga and gray duck used to hang out.  There was coyote scat all over that area.  There are a lot fewer ducks hanging out there now.

Here's some photos of the ducks that are now mostly hanging around near the boat docks and main parking lot.  Six of the pekins are still hanging out around the 2 mile mark, but they sleep near the boat docks at night and leave that area in the middle of the day.

Here is the gray duck and his girlfriend (with an unrelated male in between them) whose eyes have cleared up since I last saw her.

The gray duck who was wandering around looking for other males to wrestle with:

The girlfriend:

Oreo and Baby Blue:

Pepper, sleeping.

I saw this young male killdeer who looks like George III and another male hanging out.  I think the two males are related because when the one male left, the other one called to it in a friendly way.

Today, I saw lots of small birds, including several California gnatcatchers who played games with me and wouldn't let me take a picture of them.  One was singing really loud, too!  I think it was because there was another male across the lake.  He was also mad at all the bushtits using his bushes and eating all the bugs.

Here is a juvenile white-crowned sparrow:

A common yellowthroat:

And, one of the bushtits, a male:

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I heard a strange sound early in the morning that I couldn't figure out.  A little later, I thought I heard what sounded like quail, but it was coming from all over the place.

The sound actually came from the male redhead duck!

Heehuuuahh! Said the male redhead

Female redhead by herself.  She didn't like that male redhead:

Redhead among the coots:

This redhead couple sure were in a hurry to get somewhere:

I think this and another group of redheads were after them.  The males constantly called:

Rubberband and two of her brothers were nearby.  I think her third brother was off on his own, probably because he saw a female he liked.

The blonde duck has been hanging around the boat docks lately:

Pepper was with his brother.  He's so shy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mostly a (domestic) ducky day

The lighting really hasn't been that great to take pictures in the morning at Lake Murray, so I haven't been taking that many.  Today, I mostly photographed the domestic waterfowl, so if you were wanting to see a lot of wild birds, I only posted a few wild waterfowl photos and an osprey.

First, we start with "One Foot" who was resting in his favorite spot.

Then, Puff and the newer domestics.  The female on the right is adorable, but I don't think she will survive the breeding season.  She seems to be really attracted to Puff, though the buff colored male is her best friend as they were dumped together.

Bigboi also likes the little girl.

Baby Blue is (on the bottom right) is almost as big as the Pekins now.  That is Pepper at the top who is so much smaller.

One of the bossy geese and the Canada goose that Jill loved, but rejected her:

The two Babbas and the Canada goose that was Louie's friend:

This lesser scaup was looking for a handout:

The Snowies were dabbling nearby.  You can see their heads under water:

Here is a female redhead looking for a handout:

This male redhead was watching her from a distance.  I wonder if they're the same redheads I see in this area every year?

Here is a ruddy duck:

And, it looks like the osprey are building up their nest:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A few birds for a nice January morning

The lesser scaup are hanging around near the shore of Lake Murray, waiting for handouts.  This is the time of year they try to fatten up for migration.

I first saw Pepper with Fish Food mama and her mate, but he was so bothered by me that he swam away and is hanging out by himself.  His brother is off chasing girls:

There is one little green-winged teal girl there, today.  I took this photo a few days ago:

This is all that is left of the resident geese.  The three other Canada geese aren't getting along with the white goose in the background, so they were off in the water on their own.

I took a photo of this blue-gray gnatcatcher the other day when I was counting the birds.  Today, I heard several California gnatcatchers:

Mama raven was being harassed by a crow (on the right) who wanted to steal a piece of trash that Mama raven was checking out.

I think this might be a young, sick, California gull.  A lot of young gulls get sick their first and second winter and don't make it.  Most gulls don't make it to full maturity:

I accidentally disturbed this black-crowned night heron.  Sorry heron!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy counting shorebirds day 2014!

Well, has been my New Year's Day tradition four years in a row.  I counted the shorebirds near the bike path in the San Diego south bay.  We also are having "king tides" in San Diego, so the tide was very high.  Every year, I see different birds on New Year's Day.  Since the tide was so high today, it was a good day for ducks and geese.

Here is the bike path at the highest tide:

Here is the bay at high tide.  Normally, the area would be mud flats and plants which are completely covered with water.  You can even see the research markers:

The water came up over the bike path:

Here is the same area a little over two hours later:

And, here, the plants in the bay are visible again:

All there was in the bay, earlier, was this little island with some shovelers:

Two hours later, the shovelers have more ground to lie on:

Today was a good day for seeing northern pintails:

And, of course, hundreds of brant:

There was a flotilla of redhead ducks and some scaup:

Some redheads and maybe one scaup, a closer look:

I also saw a red-breasted merganser:

Lots of willets and godwits:

And, near those willets and godwits, there was an occasional long-billed curlew:

Some American pipits:

Lots of savannah sparrows:

These willets, godwits, curlews and ducks were sitting on a berm:

After the tide started going down, they all rushed to feed on invertebrates before they went back to deep in the sand:

The sandpipers wanted to go feed, too, but the water wasn't shallow enough, so they flew around everywhere:

I saw no avocets or stilts today.  Nor did I see the peregrine falcon.