Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Four ducks and a grebe

All day, the wind has been howling down the stove vent and splatting raindrops against the windows. Outside, it blows right through my fall jacket. (Out on the water beyond the Island, they say, the waves went over 30 feet high.) It was a good day to clean house and sort out hard drives. A good evening to organize photos of calm summer weather.

These photos were among them, taken two weeks ago at Reifel Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

American Wigeon, female

I think she's a Mallard cross; the speculum, blue in "pure" Mallards, is brown.
Correction: female pintail. Thanks, Clare and Rebecca!

Grebe. A diver, not a duck.


And Mallard, being friendly.

Since she was so comfortable with me, I took a good look at her feather patterns:

Neck. The layered look.

Flank and belly.

These two really need to be seen full size. Click on them (left click for new tab) and look closely.


  1. Can I ask what tips you off to the fact that your second bird is a mallard cross? She looks like a normal female pintail to me.

  2. Hard to believe you are getting that kind of weather when we got the veriest sprinkles. It was a little windy but not bad and felt a little nippy yesterday morn as it was -1 and clear ( clouded up in the afternoon). I've been waiting for a yucky day to make soap! I get a couple of exta pups today thru Thursday so I've my hands full.

  3. Your Mallard cross appears to be a female Northern Pintail.

  4. Those feather close-ups are gorgeous! This is why I love how you see the world. Ducks are everywhere - occasionally I even snap a picture. I never would have thought to look so closely - to find the beauty in front of me.

    PS we are getting the same weather you are - I hear they've closed some of the major river entrances and bars to all boat traffic due to high surf. Here in the valley it's just wind and rain. And rain. And rain.

  5. The lighting on that second shot, and the super smooth water--a-MA-zing!

  6. Rebecca and Clare; Thanks! You're right; I should have looked at more brown ducks. The mallard look-alikes always confuse me!

    I fixed the post.

  7. You got hit a lot stronger than we did just south of the border. We had some rain and a bit of wind, but nothing so strong. Last night we had the most spectacular double rainbow to cap it all off. - Margy


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