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, December 27, 2015

Surprise December Ducklings

Nothing much has been going on at Lake Murray for the last few weeks except for a surprise batch of December ducklings. The mother was first spotted with four, but by the time I saw them, there were only three left. Within a few days, it appears that the gulls got all of them or they were stolen by people. A gull was spotted with one a couple of days after I took these photos. There were also reports of them running up to people. When the mother saw me one day, she acted like she thought I had one of them, so I think one or two may have been kidnapped.

At first, I thought the mother was an elderly duck with a hormone problem. However, when I look at this next picture, I notice she looks a lot like Miss Friendly, a five month old female. Miss Friendly was the super-friendly duckling that loved to follow people around. It appears to be a genetic trait as these ducklings had the same personality.

Also this month, four runner ducks were dumped, one of which has a broken wing. They are two males and two females, it appears.

They found their way over to Sissy and Pumpkin who have adopted them. They are now bonded to the two older buff ducks and hate to be too far away from them.

The killdeer have been super friendly. I've seen Firecracker hanging out in her old hangout where she was raised. Her brother, Killer and his mate, Dee have also been seen hanging out in the same spot. All of these killdeer, including Killer and Dee in the next photo, are now considered nearly elderly for killdeer who usually live about nine or ten years at the most. They are about 5.5 years old.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Shorebird counting

I had the opportunity to go out and do two different walks and counts. I did a Salt Work's tour on November 22nd and I counted shorebirds for Point Blue Bird Observatory on December 1st. Both are on the San Diego Bay.

Salt Works Tour:

Semi-Palmated Plover with a bunch of brine flies all around.

Dunlin and dowitchers:

Dunlin and western sandpipers:

Eared grebes:

Why did the godwits cross the road? To look at all the birders who walked by:

Lots of long-billed curlews all around. Here are two of them:

American avocets:

Short-eared owl (looking away):

I also saw killdeer and one of the peregrine falcons in the area snagged one of the tiny sandpipers right in front of me. Poor little sandpiper. The owl was also eating one of the grebes.

Point Blue Bird Observatory Coronado Bay Survey:

I counted in my usual area around the ferry landing all the way up to near the naval base entrance. Most of these were closer to the ferry landing area.

Black-bellied plover:

Marbled godwit:

Sleepy shorebirds (godwits and willets):

 Brown pelican:


The sanderling woke up and freaked out some of the sleeping birds:

Lots and lots of willets:

This next one was OK, he was just sleeping. I was worried he was sick, but when I walked away, he and a marbled godwit followed me up to the walkway: