I Suspect Hanky-Panky

We are still at the wildlife refuge, although we are heading out. We think. There are many choices of little roads in the “tour” section, and the GPS guides us by saying “Go to road”. Ummmm. Yes, we are trying. So on our way to the “road”, there were more feathered friends to photograph.

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Two ducks, we know they’re female – but female what? Not quite Mallards because the bill does not have the coloration of the Mallard, and the color block on the side is purple – a very definite purple that is very visible when they fly – not green or teal. The coloring of the head is somewhat different than a Mallard also. Not quite an American Black Duck, which don’t come to our area anyway. Much like a Mottled Duck – but they don’t come here either. But! Wait! The Mottled Duck is in Florida, along the coast – aha! The Mallard winters in that area. Do you suppose. . . ? We are going with that story, because we have spent a very long time looking through birding apps and books, we have even invested in a much higher grade iBirds app, and we have no other answer. “We” in this case being the royal “we”, because I have no mouse in my pocket and the Artistic One was with me in this search in spirit, but not in person.

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This one was easily identified as a Coot, this one who was running in an attempt to avoid being captured by my lens. Obviously, he did not feel a need to have his moment in the sun, his 15 seconds of fame. He lost this contest, however, because here he is, in all his glory, in full view of the world. Or the little bit of the world who views this blog.

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Snowy Egrets! Yes! We had seen several of the Great Egrets, but these were the first Snowy Egrets we’d come across. Satisfaction.

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More satisfaction! Sandhill Cranes, which are apparently beginning their migration, because they only visit this area during migration. They are, obviously, very far away, but the Artistic One was able to capture them with her zoom lens – I was saving the little battery I had left for our next stop. Because although I had said to myself many times “myself, you must take the extra, fully charged camera battery with you”, myself did not immediately get up and put the battery in the fanny pack which would encircle my body and hold my necessities for this venture. Because myself did not do that, myself did forget the extra battery. But hey! Myself got the camera, the wallet and the cell phone, so myself is doing a little better with each of these trips.

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Then there is this picture – taken very cautiously through the open window of the car because we had had many instances of the ducks we were trying to photograph flying off as we opened the car door. Not really a success, although the ducks did not fly away they are also only a blur in the background – but a rather good photo of the grasses that grew alongside the channels, don’t you think? We proposed that the grasses be mowed down to make our lives easier, but the proposal was soundly rejected. Actually, we discussed the proposal (in this case, not the royal we, but the Artistic One and I) but, knowing it would be soundly rejected, we kept it to ourselves. Until now.

So ends our trip to the wildlife refuge. We have found the “road” and the GPS is quite happy now to assist in directing us to our next stop. Which will be shared another day. Because I am certain you feel it’s time to move on now. Your presence and your patience is appreciated!

Have a wonderful day – full of just enough.

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About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 2 dogs, 1 cat, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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11 Responses to I Suspect Hanky-Panky

  1. Northern Narratives says:

    I like the snowy egrets.

    Like

  2. sjbchamp85 says:

    I always look forward to your posts. What a delightful way to start my day!

    Like

  3. Madhu says:

    Their sex ratio must be all messed up like in China! What is a poor mallard supposed to do if he cant find a Mallard wife ? πŸ˜€

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  4. As usual, Carol, your photographs are absolutely transporting…

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  5. Colleen says:

    Have greatly enjoyed your travels through the wild life refuge! There is always so much to observe in these marvelous places. We live close to a Sandhill crane wintering spot (Lodi, CA) and the thrill of seeing them every year never fades. This year they began arriving on or about Aug 25th, three weeks earlier than is normal.

    And thank you! It has been a wonderful day. And so far, full of just enough. Wishing you the same, Carol πŸ™‚

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  6. Angelia Sims says:

    Wonderful travels in the refuge. They have been a delight. I think the bird app came in handy. πŸ™‚

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  7. Joanne says:

    You may well be right about the hanky-panky Carol, but they are very beautiful regardless, so we can forgive their parents for their “different” choices of mate. Did you know that ducks mate for life? I thought that very sweet when I heard about it. πŸ™‚

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    • Carol says:

      Yes, I like that they are monogamous, but then I view monogamy very highly. Additional facts about the American Black Duck, relating to their relationship with the Mallard: Black Ducks interbreed regularly and extensively with Mallard ducks,[5] to which they are closely related. Some authorities even consider the Black Duck to be a subspecies of the Mallard, not a separate species at all; this is in error as the extent of hybridization alone is not a valid means to delimitate Anas species.[6]

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  8. Wow – I learned a lot! And I enjoyed the supporting photographs as well.

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  9. Kathy says:

    It is full of “just enough” indeed. Just enough birds to keep us enchanted, and enough identification to keep us learning. Looks like you had a great time, Carol.

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  10. Lisa says:

    Playing catch up (again) and love your shots of the refuge! I especially like the pelican one in the previous post. Gorgeous shot. As for the grass….I figured you meant to shoot it that way. At least that’s my theory. Looks like a wonderful place to spend some relaxing time away.

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