Immature wood ducks dozing on a log.
I had visited this swamp yesterday, and saw a female wood duck, and I returned today to try to get some better photos of her. My first attempts were not very clean shots, so I brought more appropriate equipment today. (Tripod, for example)
But instead of Momma, I found these three ducklings asleep on this log. I stayed for about an hour; at some point, they began to awaken one by one and swim off to get breakfast. I found it challenging to keep up with them with the long lens I was using (the shot above is about 300mm, but for the most part, I was shooting at 800mm). So I missed a number of their activities, but I was just so thrilled to be out there watching them it’s all good.
Here’s a shot of the crew at 840mm:
The first two stood and swam off pretty quickly, and I missed all of that. I just could not react fast enough. But the third one really took its time, and I got some good shots of it stretching and getting ready to swim off. You can see some of the developing coloration of the wood duck in the face and wings.
And here is the action just before it slid into the water. Those wing feathers are quite immature.
This is one of my all-time favorite photography experiences. It was such a thrill to find this family and watch them start their day.