Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Ducks Addenda

Well, I couldn't help myself. Just had to try to get a shot of the Ringneck female doing the dive. So while out this afternoon on the hunt, I get surprised by a big bird never seen on the pond. Enjoy my short addenda.

The two Ringnecks that are still hanging around the pond, both female.

This is the best shot I got. They rise up and dive, but you gotta be quick!

So welcome the Double-crested Cormorant. The only reason it has to be this breed is because all the others live in Nova Scotia! I was amazed when this big bird just dropped in all by his lonesome, and proceeded to dive and swim underwater across most of the pond. At first I thought it was a Great Blue Heron, because we don't usually get water birds this size.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Winter of Ducks on the Pond

We have been blessed this winter with the most amazing variety of ducks visiting our glorified stock tank we call the pond. Enjoy the sampling, and forgive any mis-identification. I have been poring over my Crossley Guide to get these right.

A couple of male Gadwalls. This has been our most common visitor over the years, even when no others drop by.

Gadwalls 'dunk' to do their eating, so it's 'tails up' on a regular basis.

Female Gadwall cruising close to my side of the pond.

First-time visitors, the male and female Northern Pintail. A very regal posture, and a long neck displayed on take-off.

I readied my camera to fire some shots off as soon as they were startled.

Knew I had a different duck when I got the shot, but didn't realize I had two different ducks. The one in full profile is a Redhead. The one to the left is a Canvasback. So there!

Related to the Redhead in that they are both 'divers' for food, this is the Ringneck. Some think the better name would be 'Ring-bill', because there is a distinct white ring close to the tip of its bill.

The male Ringneck duck, one we hadn't seen before this year.

About the same time the Ringnecks came in, some ducks with especially long bills also arrived. Another newbie, this is the Northern Shoveler, and sometimes they like to duck their heads under and do a little circle dance. Yeah, I googled it, nothing to do with mating! (They say they don't know why!)

A Ringneck and a Northern Shoveler, female or developing male.

This is another one that caught me by surprise, because I didn't even realize I had a picture of an unusual visitor. This is the Green-winged Teal.

The Northern Shoveler and her very long bill.

We had a male Mallard at one time, and even though many ducks resemble these, I believe they are female Mallards.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic, but wanted to show the female Ringneck Duck.
We still have the Ringnecks here, and winter isn't over, so we may have some more to share later.