Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seagulls and Mallards and Wood Ducks, Oh My!

Just as the title suggests, the following are a few photos of some feathered friends. The Seagull and Mallard are the same ones featured in the previous post, only up close and personal. The Wood duck is a frequent visitor to our local pond. Each of the three photos were taken on different days and different lighting conditions. I hope you enjoy some of our local water fowl.

I stood around photographing the gull for so long that we were practically on a first name basis. I love the way this guy was eying me.

And the same with his buddy the mallard. She's got quite the coy look, don't you think?

wood duck8
Woodrow, the wood duck was near the other side of the pond for this photo, hence the less than sharp image, but I love the colour of the water which reflected the surrounding trees on that October day.

He swam up a little bit closer on another day.

And hopped up onto the log to groom on yet another occasion.

That's all for now.


hope and love said...

lovely lovely lovely...!!

Jinksy said...

The one where the water appears to be on fire is a-maze-ing, to the n'th degree. Glorious selection of wildlife wonders...

Zuzana said...

Beautiful images, I love watching birds and I like to watch seagulls in particular. They will stamp the ground and then look for worms, I find that so clever.;))
Have a nice Sunday dear friend,

June said...

I don't believe I have ever seen a mallard out of the water! Elegant things, aren't they!
Beautiful images, as always. I could stare at them for a long long time and just soak them up.

Anonymous said...

What fabulous shots! How do you do it? I just love water birds, and these ones so beautifully posed. Have just discovered your blog. I shall be back for sure!

CorvusCorax12 said...

beautiful pictures

CiCi said...

The reflections in the two top photos are awesome. Makes it look like their legs have passes through the wood and they are standing in water.

Brian Miller said...

wow. what beautiful markings and colors...lovely hilary...

Tabor said...

These are lovely! The few wood ducks I see are so shy that even with a telephoto I cannot get a good shot! I do have one with geese in the fall colored water. We now have a FAMILY (mom,dad, three little ones) in the river. The little ones must have been large enough to fly the whole way.

Tabor said...

OOoops. Meant to write that we have a family of Buffle Heads!! NOT geese.

Sueann said...

That wood duck is amazing! The colors ans shape...wowzers!! He is gorgeous!! Great photos!!
Love the reflections in the waters.
Great captures!

Russell said...

The wood duck is quite irresistible. I especially love the image where the water is rippling around him and is a rather golden color.

As they say in the photography world, light is everything and you certainly had some excellent light in these images!

But the colors of the wood duck are just incredible.

And the water is NOT frozen yet! My guess is that in your part of the world there are large bodies of water that do not freeze.

Take care.

Country Girl said...

Wow! Gorgeous photos of your local waterfowl. Those seagulls will just look at you, won't they? I remember photographing a couple who seemed to just want to pose for me.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

When I saw the one of the wood duck in the orange water, I was sure you had Photoshopped it. What a treat it was to see that the orange was just a natural reflection of the fall colors on the trees beside the pond. The vivid markings on the wood duck are stunning. Wonderful pictures.

Anonymous said...

Those wood ducks look like painted wood ducks, lol! They're so beautiful. The gull seems to be eying you through the reflection on the water! That autumn reflection on the water shot is amazing!

Anvilcloud said...

The color of the water on the first Woodrow was great.

Those first few reflections were nice. I would have been tempted to brighten the reflection part a tad in post-processing.

solarity said...

The color in the water around the wood duck! Oh, my! And just the water. And reflections.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

ellen abbott said...

incredible creatures aren't they Hilary? And your photos too. I wonder what they think of us?

Cheryl Kohan said...

Amazing! The water is just so perfect in each of the shots, Hilary. The birds are all beautiful in their own right but that Wood Duck is really a work of art.

We have Wood Ducks here, too, and I've never been able to photograph them. The way you've captured each bird is remarkable. You should be called the "bird whisperer"!!

Lori said...

Beautiful! Love the reflections and the colors of the water...precious..thank you Hilary. Happy Sunday to you and yours. XX

MaggieGem said...

Gorgeous captures all! Love the wood duck in the blazing reflection, just beautiful.

DJan said...

Fabulous, as usual. You are always inspiring. Love that orange water picture!

Along These Lines ... said...

How many ducks could a wood duck duck if a wood duck could duck wood.... ummm, that's not right, is it. I'll shut up and look at the nice photos.

Mage said...

All the photographs are wonderful, but the top one knocks me out. Marvelous guy.

photowannabe said...

Love your coy mallard and the colors of the water and the woodcock are stunning. Its always fun to come here and see what you've captured.

Frank Baron said...

You know my fondness for our feathered buddies, so I enjoyed every shot. But that wood duck is always a special treat. The last shot really captures his saucy character.

Dianne said...

I really enjoyed the close-ups of the sweeties from the previous post

and Woody is a wonder
his colors are amazing

Bossy Betty said...

Glad you "gulls" got to be friends! Do you have a shopping trip planned.

The wood duck is amazing. You know me. If it stayed still for too long, I'd probably throw pennies at it to see if it was real.

Happy Sunday, Hilary!

Grayquill said...

You are indeed good - infact way too good. I love the detail and color you find and bring to us.
What beautiful birds.

Wendy said...

What stunning photography! You should send your pics in to a nature magazine - or start one yourself!!

Every detail, every nuance is captured perfectly. And, as somebody else said - the water is not frozen yet. Yipeee!

Maggie May said...

What beautiful reflections in those bird pictures.
You are so good at taking photos.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful collection. The colors are so vivid. Wood ducks frequent the pond here, but I could never get very close. Excellent job.

NJ said...

Your pictures are awesome...some day I will get off my a** and post again. :)

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh Joy!

Out on the prairie said...

Marvelous detail captured in your shots. A wood duck is a hard catch, they are very leary of people.

Brenda Pruitt said...

These photos are absolutely priceless!

ds said...

Oh, my. The reflections of the expressions on the gull & mallard's faces are priceless. And the fiery water--incredible!

Woodrow has my vote, hands down.
Thanks so much for sharing these.

Rebecca said...

i like birdies they are pretty

messymimi said...

Wow. Sweetie's favorites are the ducks, I will have to show him these.

steviewren said...

Hilary, your photos are just fabulous! The clarity and focus are wonderful. I love the way you capture the waves in the water, the bird's should be more than a hobby for you. You are that good.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, the color of the water in the "Woodrow" pic is really something. It's so unusual and gorgeous.
Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! xo jj

Sandra said...

Beautiful photos, Hilary. The markings on the wood duck are just spectacular!

Slamdunk said...

Great photos Hilary.

That wood duck has an interesting look--I can't remember seeing any of them before.

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Hope and Love. :)

• Jinsky, thanks so kindly, my friend. Those autumn colours are quite missed now. I appreciated your stopping by to comment. :)

• Zuzana, thank you. Yes, they're certainly fascinating to observe. I can't say I've ever seen them ground-stomping though. That must be quite the sight! And would be fun to set to music! Thanks for the visit. :)

• June, you'll have to stick around. I've seen our mallards walking up onto my street before. They're semi-comfy with folks around here. Not relaxed, but not overly fearful. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Welcome, Lynne and thanks for such kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Twain. :)

• TechnoBabe, the water was indeed rather still that day in order to create such an effect. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, Brian (for whom I almost always type "Brain" first). ;)

• Thank you kindly, Tabor. This wood duck keeps coming back to our pond (third year now) and tries to pair up with a female mallard. Lucky for me, he's not too shy. I'd love to see your family of Buffleheads. I think they're awfully cute but I didn't even realize that they'd have young as late as this. If they're flying, I suppose they're at least a couple of months old, but still. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, SueAnn. I'm so glad you like the pics. :)

• Russell, good to see you. Yes, I got very lucky with light for these images. The wood duck is such a beautiful creature, isn't he? Russell, we're not frozen at all yet. We've scarcely had temperatures below freezing.. just the occasional overnight lows and once or twice during the day hours. And we can actually go through most of a normal winter with at least a small part of the pond remaining liquid. I think the inhabitants' motion alone keeps it from freezing over. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Kate. Yup, gulls will eye you as if you're their ticket to stardom. It's only since photography, that I realize how very beautiful they are. Thank you again for all your help yesterday. You're a gem. :)

• Linda, no Photoshopping that water. It was all October's doing. It's a short-lived season but it sure makes a pretty backdrop at its best, don't you think? Thanks for such kind words. They're so appreciated. :)

• Rainy, they do look like something out of a paint by number set. Gulls and mallards always seem to watch me closely. Maybe they know something I don't. ;) Thanks for the kind words, my friend. :)

• AC, thank you. I try not to play with Photoshop TOO much, which isn't to say I'm above tweaking a tad. I thought that some of the reflected images were clearer than the real thing. Water can be funny that way. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Mary Anne. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Ellen, yes. They're amazing critters, for sure. What they think of us? Perhaps that we're for the birds. ;)

• Cheryl, thank you so kindly. I tend to agree with you about the wood duck. He's a fascinating creature - so colourful and cute. This guy is a bit less elusive than what I'm hearing about other wood ducks, so I guess I'm pretty lucky that he chose our pond for his visits. Thanks so much for the kind words. "Bird whisperer" - I like that. ;)

• Thank you, Lori. Your kind words always make me smile. :)

• MaggieGem, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• DJan, thank you. Much appreciated. :)

Hilary said...

• Nick, it's close enough.. and right enough to make me smile. Thanks for that. :)

• Maggie, thanks so much. I'm glad to know it. :)

• Sue, thank you kindly. I'm always happy to have you stop by. :)

• Frank, I thought you'd like that last one. Can't you just hear his whistle-like "eeep?" :)

• Dianne, thank you. I took so many shots of the two of them and they just kept on posing. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Betty, every day is gulls day out. ;) Too funny, you are. I don't think the wood duck would have any penny problems but you might be tossing coins at the gull and mallard. They stuck around for a really long time. Thanks for the smiles. :)

• Grayquill, thank you so kindly. That means a lot to me. :)

• Wendy, so good to see you. Thanks so much for such kind words. They're so appreciated. And nope.. nothing frozen yet here. We've been quite lucky so far. :)

• Maggie May, thanks very much. I'm so glad you like them. :)

• Thank you, Steve. From what I'm reading, this guy is a little less shy than most. He probably thinks he's a mallard because he's the only duck in the pond that is different. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, NJ. I hope that day comes soon. I miss your posts. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, Lakeviewer. :)

• OOTP, that's what I keep hearing but this guy is a probably a little less leery than most. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Brenda, thank you kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• DS, gulls and mallards seem to be full of appraising thoughts. They're probably just wondering about the weirdo with the camera. ;) Thanks so much for the kind words. They're so appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Becca. They are indeed. :)

• MessyMimi, I hope he enjoys them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Steviewren, thank you so much for such incredibly kind words. That means so much to me. From you, with your artist's eye, that's such a cherished compliment. :)

• Joanna, thank you. Autumn gold doesn't hang around for very long but I love those days when the sun is right and those trees are reflecting in the water like that. I got lucky when the wood duck came into view. Thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• Sandra, thanks very much. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Thank you, Slamdunk. He's a rare find around here, but this guy keeps returning each year. He's a true treat. Thanks for the visit. :)

Unknown said...

Oh my, the colors and sharpness of all the photos are fabulous Hilary, but the water's reflection of the trees is just breathtaking... makes me think of a silk painting.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Gorgeous photos. Birds are always so beautiful and you captured them so well!

Leah J. Utas said...


Linda said...

Wow, those wood ducks are so gorgeous. They almost look painted - their colors are so sharp and clear. Beautiful photography.

Anonymous said...

Nice photos. With the cold setting in, it feels like summer is such a long time away.

Reb said...

Those are lovely Hilary!

Kat said...

WOW! The colors on those mallards! Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Incredible reflections and close-ups, but I have to say the one with the trees reflected in the choppy water is my favorite. SnakeMaster liked the closeup of Woodrow the best! :)

Unknown said...

These are gasp worthy , Hilary.
Just wow.

Mental P Mama said...

I love these so much, I am back for the third time!

Taradharma said...

beautiful birds!! Great shots of them -- so glad I stopped by.

Cloudia said...

Oh my! I need a better camera!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



SandyCarlson said...

These are amazing. Your photos always perform the miracle of taking me up and away and out of here. Looking at these, I can feel the water, hear the lapping...and I hold my breath while you take the picture lest I scare these beauties away.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that wood duck is a work of art! Beautiful shots.

Dawn said...

These are absolutely incredible!
The colors are should really create a book!
Wonderful!!! I DID enjoy your local water fowl!!!!

Dave said...

That woodduck has amazing colours Hilary. I had a friend who used to make his own fly-fishing flys for catching trout. He would love to have had feathers from one of those birds - Dave

Kerri Farley said...

Hilary - these are absolutely awesome! I have NEVER seen a Wood Duck before (in person) .... oh they are soooooo beautiful! Great post!

Pearl said...

I remember the day, as a very small child, that I realized that ducks don't have any hands. I laughed and laughed...

Still find it amusing, now that I think of it!


Nancy said...

These photos are positively the most beautiful I have ever seen of ducks! The color of the water is unreal.

david mcmahon said...

This is precisely why I am such a fan of your camera work. Interesting shots, with great clarity - but for me, far and away the pick of the bunch is the third shot, of the wood duck - because of the limpid gold tones of that water.

Brilliant work.

L. D. said...

The woody is so beautiful, or handsome, but I really like that photo. We have a wildlife expert who spends his summers posting nesting boxes all over Iowa to increase their existence in Iowa. Your photos are always so great.

Christine said...

i love the last shot of the mallard in motion!!

thanks for stopping by my blog, fun to get to know you better :-)

Digital Flower Pictures said...

I love Wood ducks. You got some nice shots of him.

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Jane. Such kind words are so appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, Elizabeth. I'n glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, Leah. :)

• Linda, thanks. They're wonderful birds, aren't they? :)

• Welcome, Flutietootie and thank you. Yes, it will be quite a wait until those days return. I'll be looking forward to them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. :)

• Thank you, Kat. Much appreciated. :)

• KC, thank you kindly. And to SnakeMaster too. I'm glad he enjoys the photos alongside you. :)

• Thank you, Deb. Really, you gasped? Thanks for the visit. :)

• MPM, I'm going to have to reserve a seat just for you. Thanks for the return visits. :)

• Tara, thank you. I'm glad you stopped by, too. :)

• Cloudia, your camera does just fine. Your photos are always gorgeous. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you so much, Sandy. Your kind comments are always like poetry. I feel so honoured every time you stop by to remark. Thank you, my friend. :)

• Thanks very much, Lady Fi. :)

• Dawn, thank you kindly. That means so much to me. :)

• Dave, it sure would be lovely to find one of his feathers - not for a fly - just because. He's a beauty, isn't he? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Kerri, they're so rare around our area, but this guy comes back every year to spend time with his lady Mallard friend. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Pearl, you quack me up! You were every bit as funny as a child, weren't you? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you kindly, Nancy. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you so kindly, David. That means so much to me coming from you. Much appreciated. :)

• Larry, thank you. That's so interesting that your friend helps the duck population like that. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Christine, thank you kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Welcome, DFP and thanks for the kind words. :)

Dawning Inspiration said...

Oh My!!!! Fabulous - Adore that last one "squawkin" at ya - maybe he's saying - TAKE MY PICTURE!! ;o)

Bimbimbie said...

Beautiful colours, especially love Woodrow in the water, spectacular*!*

Hilary said...

• SD, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he was saying. ;) Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Bimbimbie. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. :)

lime said...

oh that wood duck, even though you say it wasn't sharp, was just gorgeous swimming on the waters reflecting all the orange. just a stunning image.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: What wonderful nature photos.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous - especially the golden water!

Maria said...

That mallard duck is a beaut!

She Who Carries Camera said...

Oh my is right!! Spectacular!

Hilary said...

• Lime, thank you. I'm so glad you liked it. I guess the colours make up for the blur. :)

• Thank you, Fishing Guy. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, Barbara. :)

• Gaelikaa, she's a lovely creature, isn't she? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Jillsy, thank you kindly. :)