Okefenokee Wood Duck Pursuit

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?

A pair of elusive Wood Ducks hiding in Bonnet Lilies and Spanish Moss; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 6, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

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

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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