Sunday, May 25, 2014

WOOD DUCK

Below:  The first thing I saw today at sunup
 
Summer Tanager

This holiday is upon us and I had to work yesterday and today but have tomorrow off as well as Tuesday.  I love what I do and prefer to work through this holiday as I'm doing something I love.  I briefly visited the pond where I found the otters yesterday and was amazed to find the place inhabited by wood ducks.  These elusive ducks were calling this tiny wetland home.  It's all about habitat.  Yesterday I gave you a view of the river otter.  Today I present to you one of the most beautiful ducks in the world - the Wood Duck.
I consider these pictures treasures because I've chased after this colorful little duck all over East Tennessee for the past 12 years and only ever got acceptable shots.  I never imagined I would run into this kind of good duck luck this morning when I left the house at 5:00 AM.





Can you believe this gorgeous duck is on the hunting list?   Believe it.

Wasn't he beautiful?  These stunning ducks are elusive throughout the summer months but can be seen occasionally along shorelines where wood and grasses are prevalent which make desirable habitat for these birds.  I've even seen them sitting just inside holes in the mud walls of the shoreline - always ready for a quick flight to escape.  They are indeed a treasure.
Pileated Woodpecker

 There were four of these fellows working on trees growing near the water.  Wetlands are one of the most important and valuable habitats for all wild critters, large and small, mammal and bird as well as reptile or amphibian.  Wetlands are essential to nature and must be protected at all costs.


Even this little deer was hanging near the fringe of the wetland and pond.  This area is shady and provides a comfortable hideout for all animals during the heat of day.
As I ended the morning, I drove past the eagle nest just to see.
You can see that both babies are out of the nest and moving around on the limbs.  Note the huge wing protruding around the clump of foliage to the right of the shot.  That's little brother.
And again look at the size of that wing.  It won't be long now until they leap into the unknown.
I'll probably follow this blog entry with a dog entry as I took the kids to the creek this afternoon and shot a couple movie clips.  We'll see if I can make the clips upload.  Thanks for keeping tabs on the blog and thanks for bein there.