New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Monday, March 4, 2013

Part 4- "Ice and Black Ducks"

       Day 9, Thursday, February 7, 2013- Hubbard Park, Meriden, CT- I was in Meriden visiting my Mom, so I made a sweep of the usual locations in the area: Hanover Pond/Quinnipiac River, Hubbard Park, and North Farms Reservoir in Wallingford on my way home. Here a pair of Common Mergansers takes a break in the Quinnipiac River. There were at least five hundred Ring-billed and a few Herring Gulls at Habershon Field at Hanover Pond, but I didn't see a single wing-tag or band on any of the Gulls.

    At Hubbard Park there were a few banded Canada Geese with neck collars-

     There were two Mallard x Black Duck hybrids mixed in with the Mallards and Black Ducks.-

     But the highlight for me this morning was the gathering of Black Ducks. Black Ducks have always been one of my top three favorite species of waterfowl (with Common Eiders and Common Mergansers), and a species that has helped mold my carving career! Black Ducks are the species that I have carved the most of in over thirty-seven years of decoy and bird carving. In fact I won my first World Champion title with Black Ducks! I have a deep fondness for this species in my heart.

     Black Ducks are not uncommon winter species in New England, but finding locations for good close approach and photography are few. Hubbard Park is one of the best places I know for this.

     I took many images of Black Ducks this morning in plenty of interesting poses. So I am posting quite a few of these poses for all the decoy and bird carvers and artists I know. This page is for you....and of course for those who enjoy Black Ducks!

     This small hen swims by-

      Nice "puffy" drake with dropped and separated wings exposing its dorsum-

    This drake Mallard was flexing for the camera-

    Another relaxed hen-

    Close-up of the hen's head feathering and markings-

     Another relaxed drake-

    This Black Duck has a bit of Mallard in its DNA...notice the green sheen to the back of the head?-

     Two hens and a drake-

     Courtship play-

    The proud hen!-

     A very handsome drake-

     This drake also has the Mallard DNA including the curling greater tail covert-

     Interesting preening hen-

     I like these three poses....I might be sketching a few patterns later??-

     A little yawn. Notice the movement in the maxilla? It clearly shows the location of the nasalfrontal hinge-

     More preening hen shots-

     After a yawn, you gotta' stretch!!-

    A hen preens its upper chest-

      A nice accessory; a blue-violet speculum.-

     Another hen close-up-

     This hen takes a drink-

    A drake also takes a drink-

     This hen had very little dark mottling on its bill....

     .....and this hen was missing a small piece or her maxilla-

     This hen Mallard also wanted her picture taken, showing off her soft umber and sienna plumage.-

     If this was a decoy, we would call it a "tucked head" or "snuggler"-

     A preening drake-

    This hen takes a break and stands on a log-

     She is spectacular!!-

     Snuggler drake-

     Another yawn-

     Interesting preening pose-

    Another drinking hen, Notice the raised and exposed dorsum?-

     A drinking drake-

     Another preening hen-


     This hen Mallard takes a break in the run-off pipe-

     On the way home I stopped at North Farms Res. to search the waterfowl that were huddled in a small open patch of water. This Robin flew in to feed on this sumac next to my truck. I took these shots from my open window.-

     One of the many unusually marked Geese at North Farms. This one was banded.-

                              Chapter Two of "the Kumlien's Diary" continues..... 
                             on "Older Posts" below right -