Long tailed ducks

In a previous post I shared the idea of visiting the same location more than once. Especially when you have a wildlife subject that is ‘reliable’ and ‘cooperative.’

When we refer to ‘reliable’ that means that when you go, chances are near 100% that the species is there. ‘Cooperative’ means that they are willing to stay in your vicinity while you take your time to capture your images.

Long tailed ducks is one of those species that are few and far between for us, and generally speaking they are a bit shy. For me, if I want to see one I have to travel to either Ocean City Inlet or Indian River Inlet to find some. You can’t count on them being cooperative as frequently they are at the inlet entrance, too far for a decent image.

Each year is different and where a species can be found in one location is no guarantee that they will be there the following year. So when you know of a target species that is reliable and cooperative, it would be silly not to take advantage of the opportunity. This means dropping other things in your life to spend time in the field with them.

As such is the Long-tailed duck for me this season as there is a little flock of them hanging out near a marina in the Choptank River that have been reasonably cooperative subjects. It takes time and patience and I’ve only had two visits with limited time. Of course, having beautiful clear skies helps to have better images so that makes it more challenging schedule wise.

There are a number of images I have in my mind that I’d like to capture, but so far they’ve been a little distant for what I would like to get. But I’m not giving up on them, like I haven’t with the Tundra Swans. And like the Swans, Long-tailed ducks make some really funny sounds. Sometimes they sound like a dying car horn.

Today was a beautiful day and I managed to spend a little time with them. It was so peaceful being on the water and watching the ducks in their mating dances with each other. I’m looking forward to my next visit with them.

8 replies »

  1. I am so glad you were able to make your visit work. A beautiful set of captures of this sometime rare and allusive duck! Your tenacity to get the job done is an inspiration.

  2. I spend time each week at a pond at my local Audubon. Such a soul soother to connect with the pony and it’s plant and animal life through the seasons. Loved your post!

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