Wood Ducks & Mottled, Green and Blue Herons (8/6/20)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 32,984
Wood Ducks & Mottled, Green and Blue Herons (8/6/20)

Continuing along with the bird and wildlife threads, this time I am sharing some shots taken from out in the western wetlands again - the one county wetland spot still open in the pandemic, Peaceful Waters.  There's a lot less to see there than my local wetlands, but fortunately some of the things you see are not real common at my local spots, so it sometimes makes it worth the trip.  One favorite of mine is the wood duck, which I've shared shots of in a few past threads...and happily on this visit I found they're still sticking around.

The following shots were all taken on July 19th, a day that started with heavy rains, even as I drove up to the park from my house after lunch.  I checked the radar and it seemed to indicate there'd be a hole in the rain so I went up there in hopes I'd get that window...and indeed after sitting in my car for 10 minutes, the rains stopped and I was able to head into the wetlands (mistake 1 - sitting in my air conditioned car for 10 minutes then stepping out into the 94 degree, 100% humidity air fresh after a storm - my lens fogged up something  fierce!).

All shots taken with the A6600 and FE200-600mm G OSS combo, and all are posted at 1800 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

This first shot is when I realized my lens had fogged...framing this green heron with his neck up, the shot looked like a San Francisco Bay fog bank - all white.  I wiped the lens end and tried the shot, but it still came out all white due to the internal glass fogging.  I kept the shot anyway, applying a ton of fade correction to restore some contrast - detail's gone, but the pose was cool!

A few minutes of pointing the lens at the sun to defog the inside elements and cycling the zoom, and most of the fogging had burned off - plus I had my handy microfiber to wipe the end element off - this little blue heron was hunting for fish and didn't much care about my problems!

The lovely male wood duck, losing some of his fluffy adornment feathers and plume, which is no longer needed since mating is over - the waters in the summer in our wetlands are usually covered by this dense, and aptly named, duckweed

Two male wood ducks running together through the duckweed - both losing their mating colors and running together as bachelors having already sired numerous ducklings

One more closer look at one of the male wood ducks

Three males all running together - the three amigos.  Each was in a slightly different stage of feather changes (we had wood ducks breeding over several months, so some started earlier or later than others)

Sorry, but wood ducks excite me - can't get enough of them!  I know that I may go another year or two before I see more, so I took advantage and shot them as much as possible

A distant mottled duck dabbling at the duckweed in a less densely covered bit of water

Another green heron on the hunt for fish along the shore

Nabbed one!

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as ever.

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