Friday’s Feathered Friends- Wood Duck

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A couple of week ago I discovered a new park with a pond not far from home and this beautiful male Wood Duck was there among the mallards and geese.

Wood Duck Male

I heard there was a female there too but, I never saw her. She too is quite striking and pretty. Here’s an image I made last year along the river of a female Wood Duck checking out a tree for a nesting spot I thought as they nest in holes in trees or if available a nesting box. They have claws that can grip bark so they can perch on branches.

The Wood Duck is one of the prettiest ducks of all the waterfowl.

Fun facts:

  • Natural cavities for nesting are scarce, and the Wood Duck readily uses nest boxes provided for it. If nest boxes are placed too close together, many females lay eggs in the nests of other females.
  • Wood Ducks pair up in January, and most birds arriving at the breeding grounds in the spring are already paired. The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.
  • The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times over a mile away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of over 50 feet without injury.
  • The oldest recorded Wood Duck was a male and at least 22 years, 6 months old. He had been banded in Oregon and was found in California.

We got a good snow dump during the night and early morning hours on Tuesday. It made everything so pretty! As I write this (Thursday) we’re supposed to get more snow today. #1 Grandson will be celebrating his 9th year on this planet next week. I hope we can get over the mountains to see him to help him celebrate. 9 years old! Time is flying by.

What are you doing this week-end, anything good? Have you finished your holiday shopping?

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.0.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Views from the Neighborhood…

Copyright© 2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pond and Clubhouse after the First Snow of the Season

Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.0.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Perseids and the Milky Way

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The last bridge to the stars perhaps?

Persied Meteors and the Milky Way
Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810| Nikkor 18mm f/3.5 Ais| PS CC 21.2.1| Single Frame

more to come…

Whatever Weds. Daybreak on the Pond

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We had 7 inches of snow last Thursday all over Carson Valley!  On Friday a friend and I got up and out really early to catch the sunrise and do some birding.  Before we even made it out of our gate we had to stop at the pond to catch the wonderful color and scene at the pond.

Daybreak on the Pond

The storm blew through really fast, but oh what it left behind is so pretty!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-120mm @24mm| f/11|0.5s| ISO 100| PS CC 21.0.2

more to come…

Wild Weds. 19/52 Mandarin Duck Male

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several months ago I went birding near Sacramento, CA. to look for two exotic ducks, one was the Wood Duck which I blogged about here.  The other was the Mandarin Duck.

The week before I visited the pond there were two pair at the pond, but the morning I went there was only a lone male.  He’s gorgeous don’t you think?

Mandarin Duck Male

He sought the shade of a palm tree, but soon came out from under again, thankfully!

Mandarin Duck Male

Here are several facts about the Mandarin Duck:

The Mandarin Duck Drake is widely considered the world’s most beautiful of the ducks. It’s a native of China and Japan.  They favor small wooded ponds and avoid large bodies of water.

There are limited populations in the United States; they’re usually escapees from captivity.  China exported thousands of Mandarins, but the trade was banned in 1975.

They are wonderful fliers, able to fly through trees, with remarkable agility.

They will often perch in trees, but the female will lay her eggs (9-12 eggs) in a hole or cavity of a tree, or if a nesting box if one is available.  Once the Female has gathered her brood she takes them straight to the water!  Mandarin Ducks only pair up for a season. New pairs form again in the Fall/Autumn. ~https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-mandarin-duck

I was thrilled there was still one there for me to see and photograph.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| 1/200s| ISO 800| Tripod w/Wimberley Sidekick Gimbal Head

more to come…

 

Thursday Doors: Blake Garden

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I haven’t shared any doors in a long time, but thought I’d share a couple of doors, and some flowers that are in bloom from my visit to Blake Garden last Saturday with Gordon from undiscoveredimagesamonstus and a few other friends.

Blake Garden is owned and operated by UC Berkeley. It’s open Mon-Fri. Closed on week-ends except once a year it opens on the week-end for public visiting.

I’d never been there before and was looking forward to seeing and photographing flowers in bloom.  I wasn’t disappointed, and there were DOORS! Well, just a couple.

This Mission Style building was marked private. It looked empty, but had huge windows overlooking the view of the bay and San Francisco. Unfortunately, on this morning it was very overcast so the view wasn’t good.

This view was very good I thought, but the reflection had me the moment I saw it.  Anna and I waited sometime for this view to be people free.

Private Building with Koi Pond reflection

A closer look at the door:

Door Blake Garden

Standing in front of the house/building and looking east you see this! Do you see the Koi?

I love Stone Bridges, and this one is so cute. There’s a little door and a hidey hole too.

Koi Pond and Stone Bridge_DMZ6540-crop

A Columbine. I think it’s a Blue Columbine, but I’m not positive.

Blue Columbine

I laid down on the path to get a view of its face which was hidden when looking down and walking along the path.

Columbine

The Green Tool Shed had its door open and I liked the little peek inside and the foliage framing it.

Tool Shed

I have quite a few flower images, but I’ll end with a Red Poppy so it doesn’t turn into a Flower Post. 🙂

Red Poppy

This post has been part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors.  He’s a master gardener of doors.

Click on over to his website here and at the bottom of his post you’ll find the little blue frog. Click that and be taken to a list of all Door Gardeners that are sharing their door finds this week.

If you have a door or two you’d like to share please do! Norm gives us until noon Saturday Quebec time to post and link up!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm macro lens & 24-120mm variable lens| SanDisk Digital Film|PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

Sunset Blues

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After a day of birding my friends and I closed the day watching the sun dip behind the mountains from the far side of a pond. It was lovely.

Sunset Blues

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm @35mm| Delkin Digital Film| Tripod| PS CC 2017 & LR CC

More to come…