While walking along the Sammammish River Trail, a couple of Mallard Ducks flew by me at low level. I pulled the camera up at short notice to get a shot. No time to change the settings so this is what I got on the spur of the moment. As it happens, the shutter speed did a nice job of blurring out the background and making them look super speedy. I kind of like it!
This is the time of year when the wildlife starts to get a bit interested in mating. This can result in some battles between competing individuals but, while walking alongside a river, I saw a couple of mallard ducks behaving pretty strangely. One was male and one female so I think they may have been interested in each other but their behavior was sufficiently strange that I couldn’t be sure that was actually the case.
Initially they were splashing around in the water. They would seem to dive just below the surface and flap around down there making a lot of noise and moving quite randomly – not necessarily towards each other. It would stop for a while and then start again. Very odd behavior to the uninitiated. After this had gone on for a while, one of them took off followed by the other. They then appeared to wheel around the sky with a tail chase underway. This also went on for quite a while before they landed back where they had started and everything seemed to revert to normal. Anyone who knows what was going on, please let me know in the comments.
The development we live in has a pool. While this is not open year round, the area around it is always available. However, not too many people are there out of season so someone else has moved in. A pair of mallard ducks has taken up residency. Mum first spotted them when she was staying with us. We can see them from the top floor if we look but they are often out of sight from lower down. With the weather getting warmer and the pool likely to be more popular, I figured it might not be too long before they decided it was time to move on.
A few minutes was all it took to get some shots of them. They were a little wary of me so I didn’t want to spend too long disturbing them. However, the pool is not big so, as long as they would move out of the shadows a couple of times, I could get a shot and leave them in peace. I certainly didn’t want to get too close and thought I wouldn’t even bother them but they were quite alert to my being there so I made the whole thing a quick in and out job.
The eagle trip to the Mississippi provided plenty of times when the big birds were either elsewhere or just sitting in the trees wondering what to do next. This meant either doing nothing ourselves of having a practice on the other wildlife passing by. There were a few ducks in flight. Since these are small targets, they have to be reasonably close to make a shot even worth trying. However, a couple of times they came close so why not?