Urban Wildlife....

by Russell Smith February. 18, 2020 307 views

Life has been Chaotic the last week or two which has meant limited time with the camera and little to no time made for the blog and reading what others have posted. I will save you from any of the drama that has crept into my life and I am one who despises drama but it found me....

Before I chase a squirrel to far up any tree let me get back to the main point. This past weekend we went down to Fla. to visit my mom and dad. Friday we made the trip down and spent the rest of the evening relaxing from the drive and catching up with their adventures and future adventures. Saturday well I went fishing (not catching) with my dad so that was an epic time. The winds were blowing quite briskly and the fish were not biting but the temps were cool humidity low and the scenery was beautiful. The donation to Fla Game and Wildlife was nice ie the fishing licence. Sunday morning I woke up and walked down to the little pond or off shoot of the St. Johns River to see what I could see. There is one of several bird islands that are located in the city that is a part of this pond. Well before sunrise it was full of Anhingas and very few herons or egrets. Well after sunrise I made another trip down and saw a few ducks so I went back grabbed the camera and decided to see what I could do to get a shot or two. My shutter finger was getting itchy.

When I looked through the lens and I became a bit excited because well this was a species of ducks that I do not have any 1/2 decent shots of. I do have a few shots of them in flight.

Wood Ducks. One reason I was so excited is because well in my area these birds are super skittish. Like if they see you within 200 meters heck even 300 meters they will flush and fly away. They have eyesight like turkeys they can spot a gnat at 200 meters so they are difficult. I was seriously happy with this first shot. A bit noisy because I had to crank the iso up due to my lazy factor of not dragging the tripod down the road.

AWhen I saw a few more fly in and then the female landed on the stump and started preening I watched for a few moments and then a male swam up and gave me this photo. Well the excitement level went up 100 times.

After the female was done she swam off to camera left with the male and another male hopped up and started preening. I love the one footed pose that it gave me.

After this I sat still on the side of the road getting some odd looks from people driving down the road and well I was rewarded with this pair swimming back through . I love the colors in this shot.

Now I choose the name Urban Wildlife because this location is 1/4 mile from a main artery in Jacksonville and 1/2 mile from another one. So this is not necessarily down town but it is not on the outskirts of town either. So for those who want to grab shots of wildlife and live in a city or large town slow down look around. It is there somewhere because animals are quite adaptable. One other bonus is because it is a city the wildlife can be less skittish than if they were in the wild.

An odd fact about this species is that they will lay eggs in a nest of another wood duck so that the other duck raises the eggs. Useless trivia but interesting to me.

At some point today I will make some time to catch up with the posts that I have missed over the last week. Providing that my cat does not see me typing and decided that she needs to lay on the keyboard or stand infront of the monitor lol.

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There are 12 comments , add yours!
Berckmans Peter 8 months ago

This is something we overlook, nature at our doorstep. Hope you get some time soon to go out with the camera. I very much like #3

8 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Berckmans Peter 8 months ago

:) Thank you. All too often that can be the case

8 months ago Edited
Lynn F Medley 8 months ago

Wow! Great captures,  and being at the right spot with great light too! A beautiful bird,, curious why they lay their eggs in other nests seems pretty risky

8 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Lynn F Medley 8 months ago

I am not sure why they do it. I dont know if it is a defense mechanism or not

8 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 8 months, 1 week ago

You were fortunate and we too for seeing such beauties.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Antonio Gil 8 months ago

Very fortunate :)

8 months ago Edited
Benny Law 8 months, 1 week ago

These are outstanding shots, Russell. Love the composition and colours. I know photographing wildlife can be challenging. This was a job well done. Good advice to city people to look around to discover hidden opportunities.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Benny Law 8 months ago

I know myself living in a more urban area I have found myself looking for wildlife within the urban areas. Honestly I am supprised at the variety of birds that I have seen.

8 months ago Edited
Trinicia Perch 8 months, 1 week ago

Wonderful shots as always.  Love the reflections and bokeh in the water.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Trinicia Perch 8 months ago

Thank you

8 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce 8 months, 1 week ago

Love Wood Ducks. In my youth I used to carve birds for fun. I did one Wood Duck- didnt like the way it turned out but it was fun. Maybe sometime I will photograph my carvings! Great images Russell- get over the drama we need your photographs and good cooking dishes! LOL

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Buster Bruce 8 months ago

I look forward to seeing your carvings :)

8 months ago Edited
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