Sunday, October 05, 2008

Following the Crowd

Early October morning in Victoria Park

I mentioned in my last post that I was searching for the fully eclipsed Wood Duck who was reportedly seen in our urban park in the past few days. I saw it a few weeks ago as its new feathers were starting to come in and posted this picture. We had unsettled weather this week with rain every afternoon, but I managed to walk around the park three days in a row without finding the elusive bird. I went early in the morning just as the sun had risen but most of the birds were still sleeping or huddled together for warmth. I went on my noon hour and only saw the young Cormorant and a couple of Mute Swans. I went after work and got wet.

We're not telling you where the Wood Duck is!

Today I took advantage of a dry afternoon to visit some trails in the city. Darkness falls early now and birding is difficult to fit in after work. At our local swamp I found many birds including a few transient American Widgeons, a pair of Northern Shovellers, and Blue-winged Teal ducks.

On a river side trail I saw a large number of juvenile Red-winged Blackbirds and a flock of beautiful White-crowned Sparrows. My bird list for the day was approaching 20 species as I returned to my vehicle in the late afternoon. I decided to drive home via the city core once more as dusk approached...

...and found the duck. It was pecking in the grass with a group of Mallards on a boulevard near the roadway. I was concerned the group would walk out onto the road so I shooed them back to the water. This Wood Duck has a serious identity problem. It thinks it is a Mallard, swims like a Mallard now and dabbles in the water like they do. The juvenile Cormorant was also there and tried to fit in with the same crowd.


I don't know how this lone Wood Duck came to spend the season at the public park or how it became separated from its kind. But it is a beauty and I was glad to finally see it up close.

22 comments:

  1. He is beautiful and your portraits do him great justice. You must have been so excited to finally have found him. Do you think he will stay for the winter?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Wood Duck is beautiful......and I love your photography....I to would have shooed the duck back into the water...that is what caring people do.....
    A lovely post.........

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yay, you found him Ruth! He's so very beautiful too. Your first photo looks like something out of a dream. Breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ruth,

    The photos are all beautiful. It looks like such a pretty park. I have never seen a wood duck in this part of Ontario. It's interesting that he's acting like a Mallard. Do you think he was adopted by a female and raised as one?

    I had every confidence that you would find him and I'm glad you did. Thanks for sharing. You always have such great things to share.

    Finally, we are to have a day with no rain. That will be most pleasant.

    Blessings,
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  5. Way to go,never give up.The pictures are well worth the search.That first picture looks like it should be on a jig-saw puzzle.Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful colors on him. Even if he was with others, he would stick right out of the crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What absolutely lovely photographs. Regardless of his identity conflict, I'm so glad you found this beautiful duck and photographed him for us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful Ruth. I'm so glad you saw him.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's beautiful! Oh, would I love a shot at that duck. (I mean a photo)...

    Your persistence paid off, Ruth :o)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beauty! So glad you found him and posted his pic. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am looking at your photos and especially the woodie. I think it is the most beautiful duck... Here the woodie juve will hang around with the mallards. The one I showed who was coming into breeding colors is a juve and does sit on the lawn with the mallards. But the poster who asked about being raised by a mallard, the answer is no. Mallards, unlike geese won't even take in other mallards usually...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mexico Mom11:33 pm GMT-4

    Both Dad and I love all of your pictures. Dad loves the reflection such as Victoria Park with the trees in the lake. I love colour so the flowers, birds and butterflies attract me also.\Our travelers in migration are passing quickly. We wondered yesterday why the barn swallows had returned. Now we hear there are 2 possible hurricanes coming from the southern Pacific our way. Do you suppose they returned to escape these storms?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've never seen such a beauty!He's gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  14. how happy you must have been to finally see the wood duck. he is indeed a handsome fellow.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i never saw this kinds of birds.Thanx 4 sharing it's beautiful...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looks like he was playing hide and seek with you. Nice shot of him. I haven't had much time in the past few weeks to get out and do any kind of birding. By the time I get home from work it's nearly dark. The mornings are even worse. This week I'm looking after the farm and maybe I will get a nice day to head to the bush and walk along the river. I've seen several Red Tail Hawks hanging around, so maybe I can get a closer look at those beauties.
    The wood duck feather coloring certainly make him unique looking.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gorgeous scenery in Victoria Park. I'm glad you were successful in finding the Wood Duck - it has such colorful and pretty plumage. Your photos are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ruth, I am so glad you finally found that wood duck. What a beauty. And your photos of him certainly do him quite a bit of justice. Beautiful duck, beautiful photo.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for your comments and glad you enjoyed the Wood Duck. This is the best season for photography with our fall colours and warm, lower sunlight.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a beautiful park picture! I think those Wood Ducks are gorgeous. I hope this one gets its identity straightened around!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Behind in blog reading, hope you're having a good week.
    Lovely pictures. I've seen a lone wood duck with Mallards before too. I hope they're nice to him!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great Wood Duck photo! I can never seem to get close enough to them to get a decent photo.-Are you sure you didn't put a decoy in ther just to get a nice photo? Just kidding.

    ReplyDelete