Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ducks Aplenty

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.


  1. wonderful photos of the ducks.


  2. I love the fuzzy duck bill! Car trouble kept me from my local Auduson duck walk this post was a treat! An inspiration to go on my own! Just ducky!

  3. Your post was just ducky...hehehe....super shots!!!

  4. A most wonderful series of duck images! How glorious that you were able to see the misplaced Falcated Duck. Stunning image of the Northern Pintails! They really are such lovely birds. Cool looking Northern Shovelers and it's always a delight to view the gorgegous Wood Ducks. The sweet photograph of the fluffy billed mallard brought a big smile to my face. Fantastic post, Jann!

    Wishing you and your family a warm, wonderful 2011 filled with joy!

  5. Wonderful Duck captures! Especially love the wood duck view and the fluffy billed mallard at the end :)

  6. Love the ducks Jann. Your photos are lovely!

  7. Well thats just Duckie! Congrats on the Falcated! Great shots!

  8. Hi Jann - What a great post! How neat to have the opportunity to see the falcated duck and capture a photo. And thanks for the link to the full story, which is just fascinating. Made me even start wondering if I shouldn't head on down California way from Seattle ... would be fun to get down there and see that bird which is so rare. Sure enjoyed the other fine photos in your post as well. It looks like you are settling in real well in your new location and have found some interesting spots for birding photography. Best regards to you and yours for the new year. Thanks, Jann, for sharing your fine photography and birding via your blog. John

  9. I love a ducky winter too. They bring so much color to our Arizona ponds, and present all kinds of different and fun challenges to the photographer. I find their dispersement really curious too. Some ponds host all manner of species. Some species will all stay at one pond, and not stray even a mile east or west.
    That falcated story is incredible! The Wood Ducks are beautiful too--I've still yet to see one.
    There's a released/escaped Mandarin Duck in the Phoenix area now, adding a whole new color palette to the area.
    Great photos Jann, thanks for sharing.