A Group of Woodies

Yesterday’s kayak outing was pretty uneventful with regards to beaver activity. Again, they were inside the lodge, gnawing on wood pieces they transported inside … hmmm, seems like they’re active outside the lodge on an every-other-day basis!

But I did manage to capture some other interesting wildlife, including a pair of juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks (I’ll feature them in another post) and a cute image of a raccoon that I will feature for this next week’s “Fun Friday” post. I also had a few Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa), which I’m featuring today.

Wood ducks are one of my favorite ducks to photograph. They are so colorful and always have a rather rambunctious attitude! But they are also very skittish, mainly due to the fact that they are hunted. So I was quite surprised when a trio of “Woodies” approached my kayak, within about 30 feet at one point, and continued to swim past me! I was decked out in camouflage, and my kayak is painted a flat, “army green” color, so I don’t think they knew I was there. I kept my movements to a slow pace and they all seemed to be okay with me being there. The hen (there were 2 drakes and 1 hen in the group) seemed to constantly stare at me, but was not frightened off. I think she must have been hearing my camera as I snapped off images. Here are a few of my favorite images. The first couple show the ducks as they emerged from the fog:

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Once out of the fog, their beautiful colors were much more evident:

Wood Duck drake

Wood Duck drake

Wood Duck drake

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC, shot at 560 mm
  • Handheld from a kayak, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800 and ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/8 to f/16
  • Shutter 1/200 sec. to 1/320 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Photography from a kayak
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  • Wendy

    What great photo’s Jim…they did let you get close didn’t they and the detail is marvelous..best wishes to you for a fun week.. :) and thank you so much..sharing of course..smiling..

  • Thanks, Wendy! Yes, they came very close. Woodies are typically one of the most skittish ducks I run across, too. Several times, I’ve almost had small groups of ducks (mostly blue-winged teal) land on my kayak! That’ll wake you up if you’re not paying attention! Wishing you a wonderful week, Wendy! :o)