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, September 26, 2014

Here come the migrants!

I've seen many come through from killdeer to ruddy ducks to eared grebes at Lake Murray and other places!

Eared grebes

I got a kick out of this pair with a ruddy duck, still in partial breeding colors, and a little female green-winged teal.  They seemed to really enjoy each other's company and were following each other around.  Then, the teal decided she wanted to be with the mallards and swam towards shore.  The ruddy duck seemed confused for a while and waited in deeper water.  I didn't see if they got back together, later.

Troublemaker is still around and has his wing fathers now, but most of his feathers are fluff.  He seems to like to hang around gadwalls and another group of mallards, but is mostly alone.  Sometimes, his wing feathers look extremely green, but sometimes they're blue like in these photos.

I didn't see him today, but he's been seen all over the lake, so he could be anywhere.

Blue was competing for a new girlfriend and has been seen doing courtship with the other males.  But, not very much lately.  I think he's missing Ducky Ducky:

And, I finally found these guys.  I've been looking for them for months!  Looks like the female survived breeding season.

I think Junior, the killdeer came to visit, but I never was able to get a photo of him.  I've also been seeing spotted sandpipers more and lots more coots.  There was one baby coot, but he has disappeared for n ow.

Friday, September 19, 2014

RIP Ducky Ducky and Fred comes to visit

You may remember that we tried to rescue Ducky Ducky about 6 weeks ago because she was so beat up, but she wouldn't be caught.  She did end up getting better and I thought she would be around for another year.  But, while foraging this morning, she got her head stuck in some rocks and drowned.  I'm guessing it happened while it was still dark.

Fred the yellowlegs came to visit today.  He was being really friendly, too.  But, when he saw no killdeer, he moved on.

Speaking of birds, the grackles are really looking uuuuuglllly!

A couple of days ago, I thought Oreo had died from the heat.  But, he showed up today with two other ducks whom I haven't seen in a long time.  Oreo has been at the lake since April of 2011.

Troublemaker is still around and has his wings.  But, his condition is pretty icky looking.  I don't think he's every going to look normal.

Here's some beautiful gadwalls, whose numbers have increased.  I think the first one is Gaddy, but the other ones of another male that Gaddy was keeping an eye on

I threw in this photo of the Canada geese family flying around.

In other news, one of the mallard drakes is hobbled by fishing line.  I saw Neo nearby and I think the hobbled duck might be Indy or his brother.  I don't really think it's Indy, though.  Nothing life threatening, but it does restrict his movements.  We might be able to catch him eventually.

All other ducks have made it past the heat wave with no issues.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

World Shorebird Day and Trouble Update

Yesterday was the very first ever celebration of World Shorebird Day (though I've seen in some places that it's official the 5th, but celebrated the following weekend).  People were asked to count birds from the 5-7. I went to the lake on the 6th early in the morning, but found no shorebirds.  Today, I went to Fiesta Island in Mission Bay and found several shorebirds.  Luckily, I went before the crowds came in.  It was already crowded with thousands of people and I could see thousands more coming in.  The shorebirds I saw today probably moved to another area after I left.

Marbled godwits and willets

I did a quick drive around the island, stopping at various points to check out the birds.

Black-bellied plover

2 Godwits, I'm thinking 1  might be a juvenile

Short-billed dowitcher amongst the godwits

Western sandpipers

Male and female horned larks

Heermann's gulls

Another Heermann's gull

There were absolutely no ducks or terns on the bay at all, at least in that area.  It was probably a good thing because there was about a hundred speeding watercraft out there.

Back at Lake Murray, the ducks are plentiful.  I took all these photos on Labor Day.

Snowie in her fresh molt

Both sister ducks are seen together a lot, but it's still hard to photograph both of them together.  Here's Big Sister.

After about two weeks of not seeing him, Trouble came up to visit me.  The thing is he was sneezing and his eyes were irritated.  The right eye looked only slightly irritated, but the left one was obviously sore.

He still has his long, yellowish legs:

Trouble couldn't resist rubbing his left eye constantly to the point where it was swollen and red.  I'm thinking the algae in the lake where he hangs out was irritating them.  His nares actually looked clear and clean, not like he has a cold.  His eyes were a little drainy, but not draining mucous.

One good thing is that he now has all his feathers and can fly, but I don't know how well he can see with his irritated eyes.  I didn't see him yesterday, but I hope he's OK.

Trouble still stays within visual contact with his family.  Here are two of his brothers nearby.