It's baby season and there seems to be plenty of breeding going on at Lake Murray lately. While I haven't seen any ducklings for a couple of weeks, I saw plenty of other birds. The baby osprey were flapping their wings and the heron chicks are getting big, though a bit far from fledging.
Here's the first baby coot I've seen. I saw one other that was all by himself:
Lots of baby pied-billed grebes around all of a sudden. My camera didn't seem to like the lighting on these two fuzzy bodies:
Two handsome mallard drakes hanging out. Most of the ducks I see now are bachelor mallards because most females are nesting.
One-foot ate and drank too much and is gaping because he couldn't breathe. He was alright, though.
Two newly dumped ducks:
Baby Blue was very interested in both of them. I think he wanted to fight the male who was much larger than him and he probably wanted the female, too.
I also saw some terns returning, two Forsters and one Caspian. Bob2 was also there, all covered with spots, but she refused to let me take her photo, as usual. She used to not mind me photographing her, but I think the increase in activity on the shore has made her weary.
Graphic pic ahead:
I found these pieces of a Cooper's hawk near a tree where Big Mama used to hunt. I've seen her son and daughter hunting there from time to time. This might be one of them. I suspect a hawk or owl got him. Here is what's left. You can see the skull with the hooked bill, and part of a wing.
In other sad news, someone told me that they found a large duck carcass near where Oreo hangs out. She said it looked like a mallard. Oreo's gang is alright. I even saw Stumpy, whom I hadn't seen for at least a year. I couldn't find Buffy's son, though. Also, two Pekins are missing, possibly Mr and Mrs. Pekin and it's possible that the carcass was Mr. Pekin because some people don't know the difference between a Pekin and a mallard. But, I suspect that Mr. and Mrs. Pekin are together somewhere, staying away from the other ducks because of the condition of the Mrs who was near death when I saw her.