By day three of our 2017 trip, several of the birds I had hoped to see were checked off the list… except the Wood Duck. The Wood Ducks eluded my camera in 2015, but I would get one this time! …or would I?
Monday, March 6, 2017. 10:33 AM. – Far in the distance I see a duck on the water. Could it be? It is! Once again, our chase of the elusive Wood Duck begins. And once again he blasts off into the sky with a mocking call before we could even get within a photograph’s distance. I was now obsessed with getting a close, sharp photo of a male Woodie. But time after time that shot would evade my capture. Often, the Wood Ducks would jettison from an unseen nook before we even knew they were there.
Being tricked and foiled so often, I began to hate the little buggers! Each time they blasted from the water, I’d let out an audible, “ARRGGGGG! Again!” Seeing just how skittish these elusive waterfowl are, it is no wonder they are such a prized trophy by duck hunters.
Missing the first shot, we pressed further north along the red trail up the Suwannee Middle Fork, missing, of course, another good photograph of a pair of Wood Ducks that swam behind a Cypress tree and quietly disappeared into the gloomy recesses of a small cove. But as I sat in frustration having missed another, the male popped back out from behind the spatterdock. Not the best photo, but I got him!
iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/33727078