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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A new wave of ducklings

There seems to be a wave of ducklings going on right now at Lake Murray.  I think the cooler, less dry weather has helped with nesting.  Better late than never.  It will be interesting to see if we have more late hatching ducklings this year.

I found this mother with 8 hatchlings all scattered around very early in the morning:

Here she is when there was more light out.

These three ducklings were without a mother, but didn't seem worried.  They just continued on feeding.  I could hear mom quacking from far away.

There she is!  She flew back and they all swam up to her:

Little troublemaker and his six siblings are still around.  He's grown a bit and is more than half feathered:

Here's his mom and two of his siblings (a third was under water):

The nervous mama was down to four ducklings, but they sure were cute.  She was nervous of me at first:

One duckling really like his mom:

But, decided I was OK enough to come up to me:

Here she is with three of them, one was hiding behind her:

Here is the one:

Some good news!  Big Sissy was seen very early this morning feeding with Little Sissy and Runner Duck:

Then, as soon as it was light, she went back into hiding:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ducklings start hatching again


I think there were two mamas with new ducklings on this cloudy morning.  One had 7 and one had 6.  But, it could be the same mama and I just didn't see the #7 duckling.  Here she is with her ducks in a line.

There was a weird, brown, oily substance and I hope it wasn't toxic because the ducklings were eating it.  I think it was natural because it smelled like plants and the foamy part had the consistency of stringy algae.

Mama duck was extremely nervous and kept moving her ducklings back and forth and away from any threat.  I hope those ducklings will be OK because she seems like a great mama.  We've lost too many ducklings to bad mamas:

The 7 older ducklings are still around and the little troublemaker is as cute as ever.  He's still much smaller, though.  They're in a new area and I think Gaddy the Gadwall is hanging around.  I'm wondering if the little troublemaker is a Brewer's duck; that is a gadwall-mallard hybrid.  I'm noticing a good amount of white on his belly and his bill is shaped differently.  We shall see if and when he gets older:

His siblings are much larger and definitely are starting to look like young mallards.  Troublemaker is about a week behind them in development, I think.  These two will be flying soon.  I just hope Troublemaker doesn't have any problems or gets abandoned.  I don't think he will because his mama loves him and he is her favorite.

The goslings, I hear, are already flying even though they don't have their primaries:

They look like mini adults:

Definitely have their cheek patches now and I think you can begin to tell the gender:

Pat the male/female duck has returned!

And, so has Sissy and she looks great!  Her neck feathers have grown back:

Here she is telling the brown duck that Runner Duck is her chosen mate:

She always likes to talk to humans:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Update on the popular birds

Here is an update about the more popular birds at Lake Murray.  First, Screamy the killdeer was seen and heard today.  It appears that he didn't find a mate this year.

Ducky Ducky is beginning to look beat up.  Also, she's taken to wandering around the lake and I suspect the Pekins on the other side of the lake have been the ones doing this to her.

Mr. Pekin and Big Bumblefoot sleeping together.  The other male in their group went missing.  he was part of the "Four Babies" dumped about two years ago or so.  Now, there's only "Two Babies":

I think this was that newer Pekin dumped a few months ago.:

Pepper is doing just great:

There's a new buff duck at the lake:

A duck that was dropped off from Project Wildlife says hello and wonders where the treats are:

The goslings have gotten big and are getting their adult feathers now.  So, they kinda look weird:

Monday, June 9, 2014

More baby photos and a video

Here are some more baby photos and a video I took at Lake Murray.  First, a visit from the famous Pepper, star of my book, Pepper Grows Up now on Amazon.com:

All the geese are molting and poor Picked-on, who didn't have much of a tail to begin with, now has no tail at all.  I don't know if he'll ever get a tail again.  He's already flightless anyway.

The goose family is doing great.  They are such great parents.

Mom with the seven ducklings are still around, all seven of them:

This little one is a troublemaker.  He's a bit younger than the others, but is over-active and leads his siblings astray to do naughty things.  I hope he doesn't get caught by the heron as he's still small and off on his own a lot.  He led another duckling down to where some older ducklings were resting and that other duckling picked fights with the bigger ducks.  Mama duck doesn't seem to care.

I also saw the mama with the three oldest ducklings at the lake.  One appears to be a male, but I don't know about the others.

I made a Youtube video of some of yesterday's events: