Editor's Note: I wrote the first part of this post before getting some new shots of wood ducks. My luck wasn't so bad...
I torture myself every Spring. I scheme to outsmart the Wood Duck every single year and fail. I have hundreds of dollars in camo gear & waste lots of valuable weekend sleeping time, all for what? A duck! What is so great about this particular duck? Why am I not satisified with the shots I have? Why do I have to have that "close up"? Well, I'm sure it's because I can't get it!
I've hiked thru woods with a flashlight just before dawn too many times, sat in a tree over a creek, or against one in the tick-filled forest, and just can't get a "swim-past-me" duck to cooperate.
I have sat against these trees for hours, and just when I have given up all hope, they fly in, see me, and change coarse-That has happened every freakin time!
On 2 different occasions, the exeact moment I stood up, they flew into the tree I was under, and couldn't get an angle to shoot from below. My wood duck luck sucks!
My last attempt (these are the photos) was in my car. I was headed to the gosling location (from my recent post) & was excited to get there to find the babies, and of course, had a one-track mind. I pulled into the parking area, opened my car door, and what-do-you-know....I flushed a pair of Wood Ducks from within 15 feet of my car. I would have been looking for them, had I not been so distracted. Wood Ducks frequent this slough regularly, but...I hate it when that happens! Oh well, if everything was easy, there would be no challenge! Some day, Wood Ducks...Some day!
Editor's Note: This part of the post deals with my newest photos of wood ducks taken a few hours after I wrote the post above...
I take it all back! I don't want no bad Juju! Wood Ducks Rock! My luck has changed!
I still don't have that Close-Up, but I did feel lucky to discover these guys. I was walking yet another new trail, when I came across a guy in the opposite direction. He saw my camera, asked the usual questions, then told me he saw a Mallard with 1 baby-over there-as he pointed to a swampy area. I asked if he had seen wood ducks, and he said no. I thanked him and was on my way. Well...I saw no mallards, but I did find a few wood ducks!
The day was perfect. The sun was at about 2 o'clock, and the water was like glass.
This particular wood duck gazed into his own reflection...I wonder what he thought of himself?
How can anyone mistake a mallard and a wood duck?