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Category Archives: Ring-necked Duck

I wrote in my column for tomorrow that I was going to finish the column and head out in the rain for a walk. I did.

Buddy the WonderDog and I jumped four pairs of Ring-necked Ducks. They didn’t seem too worried about us, they headed for the Middle Marsh to wait it out until we left their happy home. I’m hoping they’ve decided to nest here. From what I have read, the Ring-necked Duck prefers shallow ponds, and the South Pond and Middle Marsh definitely fit the bill (so to speak).

Since going on the nature walk with the Godseys of the Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area, I have been more aware of the plantlife springing up underfoot. It was pouring down rain, but my new Bogs boots and hooded jacket kept me dry and warm.

Life is good. 🙂

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These male Red-winged Blackbirds were doing their best to attract a female following with their pretty calls. They also performed an aerial battle while I watched. Love is serious business to these fine young men in their fancy shoulder epaulets.

But I didn’t see any women take the bait and swoop in to swoon over them. Maybe they should try and get a tip or two from Lover Ducky …

Remember the Ring-necked Lover Ducky from yesterday? Today he has two, count ’em, TWO girlfriends. Surely it is from this kind of situation that they get the phrase “lucky duck,” eh?

And while I was busy with my camera hovering above the cattails and swinging through the air at departing lovers, a little brown critter was quietly swimming by. I nearly missed him!

This beaver was so sneaky that even Buddy the WonderDog and Stosh didn’t see him swimming by. It was just me and my camera.

I think this guy needs a name …

Anyone have any ideas?

When Buddy the WonderDog and I arrived at the pond this afternoon there was a pair of Mallards, a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, a pair of American Wigeon and one lone Bufflehead.

The Mallards took off right away. But the Ring-necks and the Wigeon hung around for a little while.

This guy really loves his little Ring-necked Gal … see video slideshow here

Long after the pairs of ducks left the south pond for the middle marsh, the lone Bufflehead stayed and allowed us to watch her dive.

I wondered where her boyfriend could be. I hate to think of her all alone just as the Spring Fling Mating Dance is about to begin …

Some ducks just seem to need to get a running start before they take off, this Bufflehead seems to be one of the running start water birds …

I haven’t been allowing Buddy the WonderDog to go out with me on these duck jumping trips because I was afraid he would chase them off before I could even get a single shot off.

Maybe he knew he had been kept home for a reason. Today he swam the pond …

But he stayed behind the camera. If he would start to stray towards the ducks, I’d whisper at him to get back and he would.

Buddy isn’t called the “WonderDog” for nothing.

Of course, maybe he was just too full from his earlier meal. I don’t know what it was he dug out of the ground and ate, but it had a long tail and grey fur.

He said it was pretty tasty. I doubt it.

I jumped this pair of Ring-necked Ducks this afternoon as I came around the corner heading toward the north pond in my backyard. They must have been hiding near the spillway because I didn’t see them with the group of Mallards, Widgeon and Mergansers as I was first approaching the pond.

1:53:27 p.m.

Notice how far behind the female the male duck is when they take off. He’s covering the rear for their escape from the dangerous (and very noisy) shooter with a Nikon.

1:53:29 p.m.

As they fly across in front of me, he gains on her.

1:53:30 p.m.

And easily passes his mate. “Come on, this way!”

1:53:31 p.m.

As they get above the treeline he starts to slow down. Their wings are out of sync in the photo above, below, their wings are in sync for a moment.

1:53:34 p.m.

He hesitates a fraction of a second, slowing his pace while she quickens hers to catch up.

1:53:35 p.m.

1:53:36 p.m.

1:53:37 p.m.

It’s a full 10 seconds after take off. He passed her in 3 seconds flat, but allowed her to catch up to him before they took the turn heading east.

1:53:38 p.m.

That’s some Ring-necked Duck love.