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Archive for the 'Ducks' Category

Wood ducks return to Walnut Creek. Great photos!

Male wood duck in San Ramon Creek. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
1wood duck brian wc

My friend Brian Murphy is involved in a program putting up wood duck nest boxes on trees in backyards and natural areas  along downtown creeks in the Walnut Creek and San Ramon areas. Why? To attract wood ducks back to the areas where they once lived before we humans came in and developed them.

These incredibly beautiful ducks are a special treat for all bird watchers, by the way, as you can see from these photos. Thanks, Brian, for helping to return our city creeks to their natural state. That makes them very special.

Got this note this morning from Brian:
“Attached photos are from below Las Lomas (high school) parking lot in San Ramon Creek (in Walnut Creek). Very nice going from no wood duck photos forever to nice wood duck photos in our downtown creeks. /Brian”

Very nice, indeed, Brian. Way to go, my friend! /Gary

Female (l.) and male (r.) wood ducks in San Ramon Creek. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
1wood duck2 brian wc

Posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012
Under: Ducks, Wood Ducks | 5 Comments »

Bird watching with Crazy Bird Lady of Concord’s Ellis Lake

Green heron at Ellis Lake. Photo by Susan, Concord, CA
1green heron susan serventi concord

Gary:
Today at Ellis Lake I was privileged to see a green heron, a hawk that I think is a red-shouldered hawk and a common merganser (male) duck.  Just one.  I know there’s probably not an answer to this question, but HOW can one duck get lost from the flock and end up in a tiny lake in the middle of Concord?  He looked like he couldn’t decide whether to hang out with the mallards and try to blend in, or float around with the young seagull.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a merganser before, either.
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Posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012
Under: Ducks, Ellis Lake, Hawks | 3 Comments »

Wild mallard ducks vacation in a local backyard

Tinker-bell and Puddles. Photo by Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, CA.
1duck3 lynda nynn wc

Gary:
We moved to Walnut Creek in November, 2010. Soon after, these beautiful ducks appeared and became like pets to us. Daily feeding, swimming in our pool.  We have lovingly  named  each one … Tinker-bell & Puddles. Suddenly  I have not seen them nor any ducks. We live in the Northgate area, close to reservoirs  and creeks.  Where did they go and will they return back here?
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Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Under: Ducks, Mallard duck | 1 Comment »

Mallard ducklings out for a stroll with camera-shy Mama Mallard

Ducklings follow their mama, obscured by a bush, during a visit to the Valley Times building in Pleasanton, Calif., on Thursday, May 26, 2011. (Cindi Christie/Staff)
1duckies cindi christie

Gary:
These little web-footed friends visited the Pleasanton office today. Mama is obscured by the bush.
Cindi Christie, Assistant Photo Editor, Bay Area News Group, Valley Times, Pleasanton, California

Cindi:
Nothing cuter than mallard ducklings out for a stroll to visit their local newspaper office with Mama Mallard. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Under: ducklings, Ducks | No Comments »

mama duck & ducklings make big splash at school swim meet

Mama duck & ducklings ‘participate’ in school swim meet. Photo by Emily Brown, Poway, CA
duck swim meet emily brown poway

Gary:
This is a picture that my cousin sent of her daughter’s swim meet in Southern California.  Apparently the mother duck thought taking part in the swim meet would get her ducklings some good swimming skills!
Diane Gilcrest, Walnut Creek, California

Diane:
Mama duck probably wanted to give her ducklings a close-up look at how NOT to swim. Obviously too much splashing. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
Under: ducklings, Ducks | No Comments »

“Behold the duck … When it dines or sups, it bottoms ups.” (Ogden Nash)

Male & female mallards dining. (anonymous)
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Robert Carlton, president of the Rossmoor Nature Association in Walnut Creek, Calif., sends out a regular mailing to “Rossmoor Birders & Friends.” Bob’s mailings are always witty and interesting, but today’s was particularly hilarious. I sent him an e-mail and he said to “Feel free” to republish today’s mailing here. So I am.

Look at the photo above, read the poem below … and enjoy! (I sure did!) /Gary

THE DUCK: by Ogden Nash

Behold the duck.
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
It is specially fond
Of a puddle or pond.
When it dines or sups,
It bottoms ups.

Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Under: Ducks | No Comments »

Fish & Game survey finds duck population decline in California

Male mallard by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, CA
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A 2009 California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) waterfowl survey indicates that the number of mallards statewide remains steady, but the overall duck population has declined.

Conducted by DFG in late April and early May, the Waterfowl Breeding Survey estimates that there are 510,800 ducks of all species in the state. This is an 8 percent decrease from 2008, when DFG found 554,300 ducks.

Mallards, the most abundant duck in the survey, remain essentially unchanged in number — they found 302,000 mallards this year, up only slightly from the 297,100 found in 2008.

** However, the number of mallards is currently 18 percent below the long-term average for this species.
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Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009
Under: Ducks | 3 Comments »

Ducking Foie Gras: Beginning of the end for a cruel practice?

Brutal force-feeding of geese to make foie gras. Photo from The HSUS.
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Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, writes a great blog. His April 6 entry is about “Ducking Foie Gras.” Below are the first two paragraphs. You can click on the link that follows to read the rest of Wayne’s blog and view videos and other links on the cruel and abusive practice of making foie gras.

You owe it to yourself to read this before EVER taking another bite of that stuff. /Gary
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Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
Under: Ducks, Foie gras, Food Animal Abuse, Geese | 1 Comment »