Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday was Duck Weather

Birding was difficult today due to the rain but I was determined not to miss the opportunity before I start work again this week. I went to quite a few places and all were close to impossible to bird, especially with a camera because you don't want to get it wet.




I finally decided to go to Briely Pond in Millbury and try my luck there. I knew this would be the ideal place to be today because I could bird in my car if I parked my car diagonally which was fine because no one else was there so I could take up all of the parking spots.





I got there and all I could see were Mallards and the usual Gulls. Drat, I thought, the same as usual. I thought about going home and then remembered that my youngest had a sleepover last night and they would be up by now playing music and video games and changed my mind real quickly. I decided to make the best of it and watch the ducks for a while.


The picture above is the closest I have ever gotten to a Mallard. He actually got out of the pond and very close to my car. I zoomed in on him and was afraid to breathe out of fear he would hear me and fly away. Finally he did hear me and looked at me in an accusatory manner. I couldn't help but laugh as he belted out a loud quack and flew toward the pond.


Bye Bye birdie!


After a while the Mallards grew comfortable with my presence and decided to hang out by my car the entire time I was there. Here they are in their glory. The male is grooming himself.


Another Mallard was grooming himself as well.


And we cannot leave out the misses, here she is grooming herself as well. Look at the lovely orange underneath her chin, I never knew they had that before.



Speaking of other male Mallards, I got to see some serious arguing amongst them whenever one got too close to the others territory. Here is a picture of one of the males going after the other. They did this the entire time I was there and it was fascinating to watch. I have always thought of Mallards as the gentle types so it was interesting to see them behaving differently than what I am accustomed to.
Another action photo!
A male Mallard flys away from the other to avoid a fight.




Another male Mallard did this dance of sorts to fend off a potential attacker. Interestingly enough, it worked.


Finally the rain turned to mist and the waters were calm. There was no more fighting and the Mallard floated on the water enjoying the peace.


There was no peace for the unfortunate duck below. I am thinking these are tail feathers of a female Mallard??? I found these at the pond in Grafton right near the other set of feathers I found of the Canada Goose. I have a feeling the resident Bald Eagle has a strong liking for waterfowl. Good thing many of the Worcester County lakes and ponds have just been supplied with trout for both people and Eagles. It will give the ducks and geese a little reprieve.




24 comments:

ramblingwoods.com said...

I don't know if you saw my Nature Notes post on the breeding habits of the Canada geese and mallards on the pond, but it is a very contentious spring for all waterfowl. The mallard hen is always at risk for forced mating by and all males and it can cause serious injury or death to the female when several ducks pile on. But you were right about the displays and that is why I find them so interesting to watch.. Michelle

Mildred said...

Very interesting info today. Wonderful that you got such a wide variety of photos of the ducks. Hope your work week goes smoothly with more falcon photos!

Tangerine Kitty said...

Very nice photos!!
We use to live at a house that had a pond and I loved when the ducks would show up...I could watch for hours.

Kallen305 said...

Thanks for the info Michelle. I can't find it in your nature notes though??

Mildred, my work week is insane, but I will take some time out of my days to check up on them and hopefully get more pictures!

Kallen305 said...

Kitty, that's how I was today too. They are very entertaining to watch!

Shellmo said...

These are excellent - loved seeing all the ducks different behaviors - grooming, swimming, aggression - you got it all!!

Kelly said...

...great post! Love all the photos recording their behavior. I could spend all day watching and writing about what I see...sounds like you can too! For that matter, I guess we all can, that's why we're here! :-D

dAwN said...

Howdee Kim,
I absolutely love the ninth photo..You can really see that argument happening...
great series of behavior..

Tina said...

Glad you stayed and got all those wonderful photos..
I never knew that beautiful orange color was hiding under her bill either..great capture.
Glad you had a good day to start your work week..maybe you will get some more great shots of those raptors!!

troutbirder said...

I suspect the Mallard waiting outside you car window were looking for a handout!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, We're back from a wonderful trip. I'll post some pictures in the morning.

Looks like you had a tremendous birding week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the latest Falcon pictures. They are wonderful!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

RuthieJ said...

Mallards are fun and the only duck I can positively ID without consulting the field guide!

Rich said...

The bird behavior was captured so well. Like the narrative too.

Jayne said...

I like seeing the Mallards too. We had a female nest just outside the ER at my hospital a couple of seasons ago. She had 13 babies hatch and the staff but them all in a box and with mom walking behind, took them down to the river to a safer place to grow up. :c)

Tutta la Storia said...

I am so happy I stumbled across your blog today, all the way from Brownstone Birder. I posted a pic of a new bird I can't identify this morning. Maybe you can help me to identify it? The best part of your post today was the female mallard's surprise of orange!

matthew houskeeper said...

It looks like you made the best of a rainy day.

Mary said...

I never get tired of Mallards and watching them groom themselves. Such lovely colors in the feathers of both male and female.

MaineBirder said...

You have done an excellent job with the photos even with the low light and rain!

Have a wonderful work week!

Steve B said...

Yup, boys will be boys. It's that time of year when the hormones take over.

Mallards may be common, but in the natural setting, they are still fun to watch and photograph.

Steve B said...

Yup, boys will be boys. It's that time of year when the hormones take over.

Mallards may be common, but in the natural setting, they are still fun to watch and photograph.

Deborah Godin said...

Great shots of the birds at their "toilette"!

Leedra said...

Really enjoyed the Mallard photos. You have lots of good ones with this post.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

ShySongbird said...

Lovely energetic photos.

A New England Life said...

They may not be anything special but the Mallards are still beautiful and worth showing off. Nice job : )

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