Category Archives: Duck

More Wood Ducks

I didn’t expect to see a male Wood Duck in breeding plumage in September. This fellow was paddling back and forth in a small pond, looking around.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck
He very nicely showed off both sides and created a lovely reflection in the still water. This pond was cleared of invasive overgrowth over the summer and I’m hopeful more ducks will visit over the winter.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck
In another larger pond a short distance away a few females or juveniles were also just swimming around.

Wood Duck
Wood Ducks

Duck Sky

There we were enjoying the view of Spoonbills, Egrets and Herons and then the sky exploded with a flock of Blue-winged Teals. I didn’t even know what they were at first and was surprised to see the flock move like a unit once they got above the tree line.

Blue-winged Teals
Blue-winged Teals

Some of the wading birds joined in – click photos for larger view. Regrettably, we couldn’t get closer to where they landed for a view of them in the water.

Blue-winged Teals
Blue-winged Teals

10/01/2017

Clear the Way for Great Blue Heron

The Wood Ducks were just hanging around in a quiet group until the incoming Great Blue Heron startled them into action.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks

The male Wood Duck was the first to go, quietly with just his wing flapping making noise.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks

The lower end of the ramp cleared.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks

The female Wood Duck at the highest point seemed like she was going to stay, but then thought better of it.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks and Turtle

The turtle was less motivated and held his ground.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Turtle

Click on any photo for larger view.

Wood Ducks

A few Wood Ducks were hanging out on an alligator ramp in the old rice field pond. Everyone was happy until a hawk flew over and one by one they slid into the water and paddled to the far shore and relative safety of the reeds.

Wood Ducks
Wood Ducks – click image for larger view

This one lone duck didn’t seem to get the message and stood her ground on a lump of debris.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck – click image for larger view

These photos were taken two weeks before Hurricane Irma swept through South Carolina last week. I passed this spot yesterday and the duck weed blew into the pond corners and many of the reed islands are re-arranged.

A Ducky Surprise

This was one of those times that I took the first shot not knowing just what that “blob” was until I had zoomed in on the screen. The kind that sometimes turns out to be a piece of trash or a stick. Or three Wood Ducks whose bodies appeared disjointed from my angle.

Wood Duck Family
Wood Duck Family

Fortunately, I was able to work my way a little closer and the three stayed put while I took a family portrait.

Wood Duck Family
Wood Duck Family

Click on either photo for larger view.

Wood Ducks in the Duck Weed

With very few ducks around to consume the Duck Weed it is covering a larger portion of Ravenswood Pond than a month ago. It gets moved around by the wind and concentrates at the edges where you can get the closest photographs of the Wood Ducks. On the plus side there is less glare.

Female Wood Duck
Female Wood Duck standing on submerged log – click photo for larger view

The female Wood Duck was taking a break from her chicks. They were sticking together and wasted no time moving away from perceived danger. Based on the ducklings size this could be the group that a few weeks ago numbered around a dozen, now down to five.

Wood Duck Ducklings
Wood Duck Ducklings – click photo for larger view

One male was at the other end of the pond where the duck weed pattern is different with large gaps out in the middle of the pond for a nice reflection. The water is deeper here–the larger alligators can swim without sticking out of the water.

Male Wood Duck
Male Wood Duck and reflection – click photo for larger view

A Duck Tale

Mother Wood Duck and seven ducklings climbed onto the Alligator ramp for some grooming and rest.

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Drowsy, without a care in the world, after a bit everyone settled down and Mom stood watch. I thought these ducks were taking a risk: they don’t call it an Alligator platform for nothing!

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Dad patrolled the waters.

Look carefully to the left of the Drake and you will see an Alligator body part is sticking out of the water just a smidge. I didn’t see this until I was developing these photos.

Wood Duck with Alligator Lurking
Wood Duck with Alligator Lurking – click on photo for larger view

I did suspect that something was about to happen because the Drake let out a squawk, reversed course and paddled away.

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Mama also sensed something was wrong.

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

I missed them exit from the platform but those ducklings were just about running on the water to get out of there.

Wood Duck Ducklings
Wood Duck Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

When I glanced back the platform had a new occupant.

Alligator
Alligator – click on photo for larger view

The ducklings and mom disappeared towards the other side of the pond, with a tale of survival, this time.

 

Wood Duck Ducklings
Wood Duck Ducklings – click on photo for larger view