Wildlife at A.Y. Jackson Park and Watson’s Mill in Manotick

Birds, Ducks, Nature

An hour in the afternoon at the bridge on Bridge Street in Manotick, Ontario yielded a few nature photos (a few more than expected). We walked into A.Y. Jackson Park to get beside the water.

Large grey bird in Manotick

This bird stood on the rock with his wings extended for quite some time. I’m not sure what kind it is. He has some yellow on his beak.

Heron flying beside Watson’s Mill in Manotick

He was flying very low. There’s an intriguing contrast between the power of the rushing white water and the grace of the large bird.

Two herons flying near Canadian two flags

Two street lamps… two flags… two birds… couldn’t resist. It wasn’t planned, honestly, I was shooting the birds and noticed the scene symmetry later.

Mallard ducks beside rocks in shallow water

Two large fish in the clear water of Manotick

We saw a guy fishing under the bridge on Bridge Street not far away from these slow-moving fish.

Canada geese on family outing

Two parents enjoying an afternoon together with their six healthy ‘children.’

Tortoise in thick grass

Duck Learning How to Walk a Tightrope? (Not a Photoshop Trick!)

Birds, Ducks, Nature

Duck with two feet on clothesline (1/320 F/2.8 ISO 6400)

I never thought I’d ever see a duck trying to walk on a clothesline! What happened?!

I heard a duck land in the “pond” (unopened swimming pool), but didn’t pay much attention as I made my dinner late on Saturday night. After finishing my pizza and salad, I checked to see if he was still there.

Duck sitting in the grass

He had decided to sit in the grass which had just been cut, and sat there for about ten minutes. He seemed pretty chill, not moving around at all, just hanging out.

I watched him from my living room window, camera in hand, expecting a chance to get a few in-flight pictures after giving the ducks a break for several days. He wasn’t in a rush to leave, but there wasn’t much good daylight left at 8 pm, so I decided to try going outside, and slowly approach him, get closer than usual, to get a better picture than usual.

Nervous duck thinks about leaving

In my limited experience, you can approach ducks in the wild slowly, and as long as you don’t startle them by any sudden movement, or make any noise, they will allow you to close the distance (somewhat). They will get up if they were seated, keep a close eye on you, and walk around a bit.

Mallard gets airborne

When he finally decided to hightail it out of my backyard at 8:20 pm, he took off, and everything looked like usual. Until…

He flew right at the clothesline! I didn’t notice until I looked at the pictures afterwards that both his feet actually touched the clothesline, and he could have taken a nasty tumble! A few inches lower, and he would have crashed…

Duck successfully clears clothesline

Duck flying in forest at high speed

Duck disappears into the woods

Causing Quite a Flap: Original, Interesting, or Beautiful Pictures of Mallard Ducks in Flight

Birds, Ducks

The magical quality of bird wings has fascinated humans for centuries. The art of feathers can be as memorable as the science of flight.

Female duck with wings like an angel (1/800 f/2.8 ISO 160)

She was just drying herself after a swim by stretching or flapping her feathers right in front of me… Voila! This gorgeous display of shape, color, and texture.

Duck looks like it is clapping

Ready to walk the tightrope

Showing off her impressive wings and surprisingly large wingspan

About to get out of the water

And she’s out

Splitting the uprights (1/800 f/2.8 ISO 640)

Birds in flight, of course, are often the most popular pictures of birds; within that subset, some pics are more unusual than others, and, in my experience, many of those distinct shots were unplanned. You simply don’t have time to change settings or create the scene. You go with what you’ve got.

Wings in soft focus, DOF everything else (1/800 f/2.8 ISO 640)

Male and female duck flying together

Mallards in sync

In Hot Pursuit: Male Mallard Aggressively Chasing His Female Partner

Birds, Ducks, Nature

THE DUCK CHASE (1/3200 f/2.8 ISO 100)

Two ducks are going through their regular routine. They arrive, swim around, groom, etc. Then, all of a sudden, in the middle of the quiet, peaceful time together, drama! The male starts chasing after the female. They had arrived together, and were ostensibly already a couple, so was he just mad at her, even though she had done nothing to provoke him, or is this some kind of duck play time?

Female rushes to avoid his advances

Male continues after her, darting in her direction

She voices her response but will she fly away?

He keeps going; she keeps fleeing

Quick change of plans: dive, dive, dive!

But he catches up and bites her neck

He jumps her and keeps his beak on her neck.

Get me out of here! Mad splashing continues…

Female tries walking on  water

Wings working hard and fast to continue her getaway

Evenly matched, she cannot gain much distance on him.

About as quickly as it had started, it all stopped.

They seemed to remain friends after the incident and flew away together.

Synchronized Flying by Two Ducks (1/2500 f/2.8 ISO 100)

Duck About to Take Off

Birds, Ducks, Nature

Duck about to take off

Earlier today I saw a few mallard ducks had landed nearby. Not long after I had picked up my camera and moved closer to them, I could see the female had noticed me and she started to look nervous. So I felt she was going to fly, and started shooting in burst Sports Mode (1/800 sec.). She was caught leaning forward, wings flapping, just before she got off the ground.

Female duck flying just off the ground

Less than a second later we have lift off.

Male Mallard Duck Just After Lift Off

Her partner follows her and their latest journey begins.