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Photographing the elusive wood duck

Wood Ducks?

On the spur of the moment Tuesday, I decided to once again search for wood ducks to photograph. I started at Stillwater marsh where I found some American Coots feeding close to a viewing stand. A few minutes later, a serious birding couple arrived. They told me I could probably find some wood ducks just down the road. Cautiously, I started down a single lane gravel road and about 100 yards later, the marsh came up to the road. I did see about 8-10 wood ducks. However, they heard or saw me first and took off.

I will trade one wood duck for an eagle

Before I turned around, I took the lens cap off my camera, attached the lens hood, and placed it on the passenger seat. I would be ready this time. The birding couple was still there and I told them I saw several wood ducks, but they saw me first. “Yep,” was their reply. I started driving north to go to another area, but I was driving very slowly with window down and camera ready. After about 50 yards, I spotted four more wood ducks maybe 50 yards or so away. I stopped and quietly got out of my car, but before I could raise my camera, they were gone. They were in area with lots of trees and undergrowth that was flooded. As I looked to the sky in frustration, I was sure I saw an eagle. I drove the SUV backwards about 50 yards. The birders confirmed it was and eagle, but it was just passing through. A frustrating morning thus far!

Another duck

I kept my camera ready as drove north to the main road where I stopped in put in back in my camera bag. My next stop was west a few minutes to a new area. There is a new pond or two near the construction of I-69 north of Bloomington named Bottom Road Wetland Mitigation Area. At the moment, there is barely a single turn off with room for one vehicle. I missed the turn off the first time and had to make a U-turn. Once parked, I spotted two ducks in the distance. Things are looking up, so I retrieved my camera and set it up. As I walked to the front of my car and towards the pond, two wood ducks took off, then two more. Such is luck. However, I could still see these two ducks—one was mostly white. I walked the length of the pond photographing them. Eventually, they must have decided they had enough and took off. Fortunately, I was in a great spot! I did some research and found they were Bufflehead ducks.

Searching for the elusive wood duck

Hopefully, the weather will clear up in a day or two and I can resume my search for wood ducks. I have ordered a photo blind that I am hoping will help me get closer to photograph them.

A photo album of  today is below.





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