One of the nicest things about this time of year is that wintering ducks are around in force. But unlike a typical year, there's one very unusual duck visiting Central California, a misplaced Falcated Duck, which should be at home in Asia. Birders are arriving from all over the U.S. and Canada to get a look. It's been hanging out with all the other wintering ducks at the Colusa Wildlife Refuge. I went up there last weekend and got to see it myself. It was pretty far off so my photo is a bit blurry, but this is it:
The Falcated Duck was a big thrill, but just a couple of weeks ago I was able to capture this male and female Wood Duck pair at a local stream just walking distance from my house.
And in this same stream just days ago, I came upon this Common Goldeneye. It's not common to me, as I've only ever seen one once before and at quite a distance, so I was happy to capture this female.
Other ducks I'm seeing lots of include Northern Pintails . . .
Northern Shovelers . . .
Gadwalls . . .
a beautiful male Mallard . . .
and one very special little female Mallard with a bit of downy fuzz on her bill.