After Work on Friday, 04-29-16

Mallard ducklings hugging the shade. Copyright © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.
Mallard ducklings hugging the shade. Copyright © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.

On the way home I stopped off at the WPA Rock Garden again,  It was really too warm (for me) to be out there, but I wanted a bit of a walk and some fresh air.  Not a whole lot new to see.  What was sad though was coming across a Bushtit nest that had apparently been downed by the storm on Wednesday and then stepped on by someone.  If you didn’t know what it was, it would just look like a snarl of dry plant material, but I recognized it immediately.  I felt the nest to see if there was any movement in it (there wasn’t), so I checked inside of it and was very saddened to see it filled with dead baby birds. Awwwww…

What’s neat about the little Bushtits is that when they’re building their nests there are usually several adult male birds that help with the building, then everyone takes turns sitting on the nest until the chicks fledge.  The winds and downpour on Wednesday must’ve overwhelmed all of them.  I don’t know if the birds will build a new nest and try again in the same season if one nest fails…

I came across a hybrid duck (part Mallard, part Runner I think) who had one baby with her.  And then later came across a Mallard mama with seven ducklings.  They didn’t like the heat either, and tried to stick to the shade as much as they could.  Baby turtles, on the other hand, were starting to emerge from the pond and climbing up on the structures around the water plants to get warm.  Most of them were baby Red-Eared Slider Turtles, though, which we don’t like because they’re invasive.

Lots of damselflies are starting to show up, and I saw several mating pairs but I couldn’t get them to stop flying around long enough to get a shot of them.  The fuzzy golden male Carpenter Bees were also uncooperative today.  A major irritant, though, was some jerk play golf by the pond with a buddy – and letting his Husky dog run around off leash so it could chase and attack the geese and ducks.  It must be nice to go through life thinking that the rules apply to everyone else on the planet EXCEPT YOU.  I took photos of the jerk and his dog and turned them over to the park authorities.

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