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Posts tagged ‘Flying Ducks’

A Young Wood Duck Flies

This older Wood Duck duckling was startled yesterday when I walked near the pond’s shoreline.  It was previously hiding in the rushes and reeds along the shore.  The little Wood Duck is likely a hen.  It was hatched here on the pond earlier this Summer.  The trio of these older ducklings have split up a bit now.

We had a lot of rain yesterday as we have been having the remnants of the former hurricane Isaac.  Just a lot of heavy downpours and a bit of wind.  It came in waves of rains all day.  I was out for a few minutes between rains.  The Wood Ducks are here all year-long and mainly spend their days between the pond and the nearby small private lake.  I took these pictures on Sept. 2, 2012 in my yard.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

A Wood Duckling Learning to Fly

It seems like I surprise the Wood Ducks here on the pond a lot.  They are so skittish that whenever I approach the pond and they are on the same shoreline as I am, they flee.  The hen Wood Duck duckling was out with its mother and was startled by my presence.  The pair took off in a low “Touch and go” flight to the middle of the pond.  That actually is good practice for the duckling.  Soon it will be a very confident flier.  I took these pictures on July 4, 2012 in my yard.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Drake Mallard Ducks

I was happy to see several drake Mallard Ducks here on the little pond this past week.  I took these pictures on April 15, 2012 and again on April 21, 2012 in my yard.  The drake or male Mallard Ducks have an emerald-green head, grayish-brown back, blue and white patches on the wings (especially seen when the duck is flying), orange feet, and a dark brown tail.  The bill is usually a greenish-yellow or also an orange-yellow in color.  They are quite social and tend to quack a lot at times.  They are larger than many other ducks.  There is a hen Ring-Necked Duck here that is infatuated with one of the drake Mallard Ducks.  They have both lived here for the past few months.  She had a Ring-Necked drake suitor who apparently did not stay with her.  She is in a couple of the pictures shown today.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

The Blue Winged Teal Ducks, Part 2 of 2

The Blue Winged Teal Ducks were here on the little farm pond for just a few minutes on April 2, 2012.  The trio of two drakes and a hen were just settling down on the water when a few local cattle decided to cool off by wading in the pond.  Off the ducks flew!  Now they are on the way back up North to their nesting grounds in Northern U.S. states and in Canada.  They like ponds, lakes, and slow shallow streams and marshes on rivers.  By the way, on Thursday afternoon, April 5, 2012, I saw seven of these Blue Winged Teal here on the pond.  So the original trio were the advance scouts for the small flock.  The other possibility is that the seven are a split-off group of a larger flock and the other ducks are out on the neighborhood community lake nearby.  I was glad to see them here!  Other than the one photo below dated 4/5/12, the other pictures were taken on 4/2/12.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Photo taken on 4/5/12

The Fly-In, Part 1: Mallard Ducks

A pair of Mallard Ducks are residents here on the little farm pond.  These ducks come and go frequently between this pond and the small private community lake that is nearly across the street from my place here.  I was out with the camera this afternoon and saw the ducks flying around the pond to land at the quiet dam area.  The other area of the pond was occupied by several Canada Geese.  Ducks are especially quick in flight most of the time.  I was fortunate to be in a good spot to catch the action.  This is part 1 of 2 parts.  The second part will be tomorrow and will feature the Canada Geese.  Canada Geese are larger and are slower in flight so they are a bit easier to photograph while flying.  I took these pictures in my yard on March 18, 2012 at about 5:00 pm.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks are so very lovely that they almost take my breath away.  They are year-around residents here but are few in number.  We have perhaps, about eight or so of the Wood Ducks here on this lake.  They nest up in the trees or in man-made nest boxes.  They eat bugs and also like corn, nuts, and seeds.  They are quite shy and will not tolerate being around people at all.  Two or three of the Wood Ducks will  sneak into my shore-line backyard when they think nobody is home.  They enjoy the yard with its natural and supplemental food sources.  They sometimes will come up into the yard with the Mallard Ducks or in the Winter, the American Coots (the Coots have left for the season).  The female or hen is the light brown duck with the white eye ring and blue patches on the wings that are edged with white.  The male or drake has the beautiful multi-colored feathers.

It is now about time for nesting to be happening but I have only seen evidence of one couple being in the family way.  Luckily I was able to get a picture of the drake Wood Duck up on one of the nest boxes guarding his mate who is inside.  This nest box is up over the lake.  These boxes are placed rather low.  Usually the nest boxes would be about three to four feet higher.  In the forest, the Wood Ducks will even nest fifteen to twenty feet up!.  Taking these pictures during the past month was a great pleasure.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

The Ducks are Doing the Dash!

It’s “Duck dash” season here on the lake.  Due to the recent warmer temperatures, we had a lot more pontoon and bass boats out on the lake.  The ducks have been flying to get out-of-the-way of the on-coming watercraft.  I occasionally startle the ducks when they are browsing for bugs and bird seed in my shoreline backyard.  The ducks have also been chasing each other more.  The drakes have been territorial and are vying for the bachelorette.  Additionally the duck couples have, well, been courting.  All of this recent chase and short distance flying has been much slower than normal.   Ducks on move are usually super swift.  The slower flight makes it a lot easier to get some photographs of the ducks on the wing.  I have pictures of several Mallards, and Wood Ducks that I have taken here on the lake within the last two weeks.   The Wood Duck male or drake, is the vividly-colored duck.  The Wood Duck female or hen, is the brown duck with that distinctive white almond-shaped eye ring.  The Mallard drake has the emerald-green head and the Mallard hen is a light tan with brown streaks and a blue patch on the wings seen in flight.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Ducks in Flight on the Lake

Hen Bufflehead Duck

Wood Ducks, Mallard Ducks and Ring-Necked Ducks have been flying around on the 101 acre private community lake here in Cumberland County, TN,  in the last month.  We have resident Mallard Ducks and Wood Ducks, but the Ring-Necked Ducks are migratory visitors and will soon be leaving for their own area up North.  I have not seen any Bufflehead Ducks in about a week now.  They may also have started on their way home.  I seldom get to take pictures of the ducks in flight as it is very hard to capture good photographs when the subject is flying away quickly.  I feel fortunate to have noticed when these ducks were flying past my home.

Many times, the flock or individual duck will announce themselves with a lot of quacking.  The easiest photographs to take are those taken when the ducks are either just taking off or are landing as they are very slow at those moments.  The hardest situations to get pictures are when the ducks are flying low and fast over the surface of the water.  Believe me, ducks are speedy birds!  I was quite happy to take the pictures from my deck on Jan. 22, 2011, and again at various times throughout February 2011.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

Mallard Ducks

Mallard Ducks

Wood Ducks

Ring-Necked Ducks

Drake Ring-Necked Duck

Drake Ring-Necked Duck

Mallard Ducks Flying Over the Frozen Lake

The Ducks here were all in a real tizzy the other day!  The poor things were all huddled in, and around, a rather small circle of open water way out in the middle of the 101 acre private community lake.  The lake has been frozen now for about a week.  The Mallards were flying around the shoreline in a large circle.  The reason I was able to get the photographs of the flying Mallards is that the Ducks were careful to fly slowly as they knew the lake was frozen.  The Ducks were likely flying to scout whether or not there was open water anywhere nearby.  We had been having warmer weather here on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee the past few days with daytime temperatures in the mid 40’s F. range.  It is a bit colder today and we are forecast to have a bit of snow tonight.  We have already had a tiny bit of frozen rain this morning so the lake is really strange-looking; with slight ripples frozen in place and a frosted look to the surface in most places.  I was glad to see the flying Ducks and get the pictures.  I took these pictures on 1/17/11 from my deck.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

Mallard Duck on the Wing

This drake Mallard Duck was in a big hurry!  This Mallard was paddling along on the lake and then simply decided to take off and fly.  With a great deal of quacking, the duck just started flapping its wings and kicking its feet and presto, up he went.  My informal opinion is that it is easier to photograph a flying duck when it is starting its take off and is slow.  Ducks, especially Wood Ducks, can fly very fast at times.  I caught this Mallard Duck at the optimal moment for taking its picture as it was just picking up speed and was flying low.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of that photograph.

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