The waterfowl all seem to do pretty well together on this little farm pond. A few days ago I was taking pictures of the ducks and heron. That Great Blue Heron is around here fairly often and mostly likes to walk around along the shoreline opposite from my home. The ducks just paddle all over the pond looking for their food or just enjoying themselves. The weather was cloudy with sun breaks and slightly warmer than normal temperatures. The weather was in the upper 40’s F. That is nice weather for our area in January.
The ducks here included: Mallards, Ring-neck hens, and Hooded Mergansers. The regulars at the pond also include occasional visits from a small flock of Canada Geese (not present at the time I was taking pictures). It is always a treat to look out the window and see all of the action going on at the little pond. I took these pictures on January 8, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. enjoy!
Mallard Ducks, and a lone drake (male) Ring-neck Duck have been here on the pond at my place several times in the past week. I saw about eight Mallards one day. Usually I see two or three at a time. One very rainy morning recently I saw the Ring-neck Duck paddling with a pair of Mallards. This is not unusual to see at all. Ducks are most happy when in a group or flock. Many breeds of duck happily co-exist. This is true for most waterfowl in general. There is a small private community lake quite close to my home so the ducks just come and go between all of the many ponds and small lakes here in the area. Recently we have had days with rain or a touch of snow (melted right away), or partly sunny days with chilly temperatures. Seeing ducks on the pond is a hit-and-miss thing depending on the weather. I was very happy to have seen the Ring-neck Duck. I took these pictures in my yard on December 23, 2011 and on December 26, 2011. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Drake and Hen Ruddy Ducks
The private community lake here in Cumberland County, Tennessee where I live has seen Bufflehead Ducks, Greater Scaup Ducks, Lesser Scaup Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Hooded Merganser Ducks, Red-Head Ducks, Ring-Neck Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, as well as Canada Geese, a Greylag Goose, American Coots, Pied-Billed Grebes, Western Grebes, and a few Northern Loons visiting this winter. Our 101 acre private community lake is very quiet during the winter months so the waterfowl are safe here. There seems to be plenty to eat with lawns, water plants, insects, fish, and small aquatic animals here in the lake and along the shore. We do not allow hunting within our community so that adds to the security the waterfowl feel. The lake is a man-made fishing lake with many homes and a hardwood forest ringing the shore. These ducks are all wonderful and I have been happy to have had the chance to see them! Part two of this series will be posted here in coming days and will show photographs of different duck species. I took the pictures of the Bufflehead Ducks yesterday afternoon. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Drake Bufflehead Ducks
Hen Bufflehead Ducks
Drake Ring-Neck Duck
Hen Ring-Neck Duck
Two Hen Mallards and a Drake Mallard
Ring Neck Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, Wood Ducks, American Widgeon Ducks, Red-Head Ducks and Mallard Ducks plus a few Lesser Scaup Ducks have all been here on the lake in the past two weeks. Our 101 acre private community lake here in Cumberland County, TN, is a stop-over for migratory Ducks as well as a year around home for the Mallard Ducks, Wood Ducks and various Geese. The lake is currently frozen over with just a very small couple of spots of open water. I took these pictures on 1-12-11 and 1-13-11 from my window and deck when there was considerably more open water areas on the lake. I enjoy watching all of the ducks in their daily paddles, flight, and rest. It is very interesting to me. I am fortunate to have a shoreline vista of all of the action. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Ring Neck Duck
Drake Red Head Duck and Ring Neck Ducks with one hen Bufflehead Duck
Drake Ring Neck Duck
A pair of Ring Neck Ducks have come to visit the lake. I was out looking at the lake yesterday, Dec. 2, 2010, and saw two unfamiliar ducks. I quickly took pictures as I could see that the ducks were shy and were paddling away from the shoreline. I looked up the ducks on the TN Wildlife and Resources Agency web site and saw that they were Ring Neck Ducks. These were the first Ring Neck Ducks I have ever seen. The male is black and white with orange eyes and a blue bill with a white ring around it near the tip. The female is light and dark brown with orange eyes, the same blue bill with its distinctive ring and a white patch just above the bill. Many of the Ring Neck females also have a brilliant white ring around their eyes. The hen I saw does have the ring around its eye but it is a faint fine lined ring and not the usual thicker ring that most have. The Ring Neck Ducks come from Canada and from the Northern U.S. states around the Great Lakes regions. The Ring Neck Ducks are migratory visitors here in our area on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!