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

Monday, March 21, 2016

Borrego Springs Swainson's Hawks

So, I went down to see the Swainson's hawks in Borrego Springs yesterday because I couldn't do it last year. I guess at some point before, someone counted over a thousand hawks! I only saw a couple hundred. I was there early in the morning, but did not stick around after they started kettling.

They were all on the ground off of Borrego Springs Road near Henderson Canyon Road looking for caterpillars when I got there.

Some where out flying around, so I was able to get a couple of shots:

They started kettling around 10 a.m. near Henderson and Peg Leg. I guess they migrate all the way from South America to near the arctic and like to pass through here.

They were looking for these guys. I think this is a photo of a sphinx moth caterpillar. I think the sphinx moth is the one that's also known as the hummingbird moth. 

The caterpillars like to eat these things:

Creosote in bloom:

Sand verbena with what I think is dune evening primrose. I don't know what those little white flowers are called.

Here are some more of the little white flower. I think they might be snowball sand verbena.

 I think this might be the regular kind of evening primrose:

A shot of the entire valley.

I haven't been taking many pictures of the animal around Lake Murray lately. No. 6 and Miss Skeeter decided to go way over to where Mr. Squeaky got killed by the coyotes. They were there for about a week when No. 6 was seen alone in another area of the lake. I could not find Miss Skeeter for well over a week and thought that she might have been killed by the coyotes, too. However, I finally found her not far from where No. 6 and two other white pekins were hanging out..

In this photo, taken before she disappeared, you can clearly see the fishing line around her leg:

This next time I saw her, I couldn't see the line very much, though she was still limping. I think she likes to play with it and wrap and unwrap it around her leg. She's not hurt here, she's trying to dig under the leaf litter and decided to lie down.

Handsome No. 6:

There's a new dumped duck that was dropped off a week or so ago. He looks a lot like Dougie who was pekin and another breed.

I saw a pretty canvasback female back in February:

There hasn't been many killdeer lately. Mostly, I've been seeing one pair: a large female and a skinny male much like George and Martha. I also think I've seen Killer and Dee now and then.

The fat sandpiper continued to stick around and she lost quite a bit of weight:

I also came across this ring-billed gull with actual rings on its legs. Unfortunately, I could not read the USFWS band number:

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