February 27, 2014 New Orleans

 

 

Wood duck in flight
Wood duck in flight

At Long Last Some Sun…and Wood Ducks

Woke up to chilly temps and clear skies, finally a break from the rain. As I headed out of the park very early this morning, I thought I saw some wood ducks feeding in the shallows of one of the canals along the park entrance road. Since I have unsuccessfully been trying to get a shot of these guys for more than two years, I looked for a spot where I could find some cover to wait for them to come within range. I walked along the edge of the woods, actually after days of heavy rain, it was more like I waded along the edge of the woods, to a spot where I was mostly concealed from their view and waited.

Geesh, these guys are wary, the second I moved the tripod, even though I thought I was out of their line of sight, off they went. I was able to get a couple useable shots, though not what I hoped I might get. If it’s not raining, I’ll be here to try again tomorrow.

Wood duck in flight
Wood duck in flight
Wood duck in flight
Wood duck in flight

 

 

 

 

 

Not wanting to waste a nice day, I continued out of the park and figured I would just wander and look for back roads and wetlands, not terribly hard to find around this part of the country.

Redhead Pair resting
Redhead Pair resting

I stumbled on a farmer’s pond on a back road west of New Orleans and got this shot of a pair of  Redheads and some unidentified, but darn colorful rooster.

A shady rooster
A shady rooster

Also found a fulvous whistling duck out on it’s own, no others around, kind of odd.

Fulvous whistling duck
Fulvous whistling duck
Fulvous whistling duck
Fulvous whistling duck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another duck I have never seen before, I believe this is a white cheeked pintail.

White cheeked pintail
White cheeked pintail

And then there is this mystery duck, in with a few cinnamon teal and some redheads, again one I have never seen, and can’t find in my bird books, if anyone can ID it, I would like to know who he is.

Mystery duck
Mystery duck

Finally made it back to Bayou Segnette State Park around 5, I had hoped to avoid the rush hour traffic since the city drivers seem to enjoy playing demolition derby on the roads down here. This campground is kind of neat, being only half a mile from one of the major arteries around New Orleans, yet feeling like you are out in the wilderness once you make it back to your campsite.  Here’s hoping today’s weather is not an isolated incident!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 23, 2013 Port Aransas, Texas

A variety of ducks hiding in the reeds
A variety of ducks hiding in the reeds

Played around with the frig a little more this morning and got it to manually light on gas when using a match to light and bypassing the electronic ignition. When I take out the sparking device, I can hear it “clicking” so some juice is getting to it but apparently not enough to ignite. Of course, once the thermostat shuts the gas down, it won’t come back on later unless I light with a match again, and that is not something that happens on a first try. Guess I have no choice but to move up to Rockport and get this fixed before boondocking again.

Wind was rocking the RV last night and it got down into the 30’s. The car is completely coated with a fine film of sand, sure that will do wonders for the paint job.

Black bellied whistling ducks
Black bellied whistling ducks
Northern shovelers
Northern shovelers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green winged teal
Green winged teal

Drove back out to the water treatment plant and walked out the boardwalk to where a lone photographer was set up. Turns out he is a native and says that if the ducks aren’t here in November, they aren’t here at all for the rest of the winter, and they weren’t there this morning, for sure. Also checked out Charlie’s Pasture and the little in town sanctuary, both held nothing, so much as I hate to leave the beach because of the frig, at least I am not missing anything as far as my bird photography goes. All four of these images come from last year’s visit to the water treatment plant where I spent many a day doing flight shots and closeups of a wide variety of waterfowl. These shots were all taken with my Nikon D300 and as I found out at High Island last year, my new D800 does a much, much better job on this type of image, but now I guess I will just have to wait until next year ( gee, I sound like a Red Sox fan, the old Red Sox, that is ).