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Duck Blinds at 28°

A morning in a duck blind?

A friend called me late yesterday and wanted to know I wanted to join him searching for wood ducks at Stillwater Marsh. He has a permit so we can walk through the area and shoot from the duck blinds. After I agreed to go, he told me to dress warm as it was going to be 28° and I would need rubber boots to get to at least one of the duck blinds. Fortunately, I spent a few years in Michigan, so I had flannel lined khakis, long johns, thick wool sweaters, and some serious LL Bean winter snow boots. Once dressed, I felt like a five-year old in a snow suite, but I would be warm and dry.

Hooded Mergansers

Once we arrived, we walked a short distance checking the woods for wood ducks. Nothing. Then, we walked to our first blind and settled in to wait. No wood ducks. But, a small group of female Hooded Mergansers came close and into the shadows. Later, I got a shot of one eating a fish almost as large as her.

Breakfast

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser drinkiing

We sat and we waited for the mythical wood ducks. Then, directly overhead was bald eagle with great lighting.

Bald Eagle

Next, we drove to the west side of marsh in search of woods ducks and other ducks. As we walked the levy, we encounter a large number of tree swallows. It seems they also like the blue bird boxes. They put on a quite a show for us.

Tree Swallow in flight

Tree Swallows checking out a blue bird house

Tree Swallow checking out a home

Tree Swallow ballet

Once we reached the larger marsh, we saw five great blue herons in the distance who soon took flight. Eventually, a couple returned and I was able to capture them as they flew by.

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Great Blue Heron in Flight II

I had warmed up and we sat outside a blind and photographed several varieties of ducks as they flew over. Here is a pair of blue-winged Teals.

Blue-winged teals

Any day you can photograph an eagle and great blue heron has go to be a great day!

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