Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mallard

Yesterday Josh and I spent a delightful day scooting around Watauga Lake on a pontoon boat with my parents, my brother and his kids, and a collection of dogs.

The first birds we encountered were these two domesticated ducks who apparently revolted and escaped to the wild. On the left is a Manky Mallard (a variation of the wild mallard duck which comes from domestic breeding), and on the right is a Pekin Duck. (His post will come later.) For now let's focus on the mallards.

You'll notice the white "bib" on this mallard. Normally, wild Mallards have a white ring around the base of their necks...


A bit later we ran into a true wild Mallard. You can see the white neck ring clearly in the photo below. (He was kind enough to come up close for a photo shoot.) And just for fun, take a look at his beak - if you just look at the yellow part, it looks like he's wearing a dog mask! (The nostrils become the dog's eyes, the black spot on the tip of the beak becomes the dog's nose, the two points on the top become the ears. This is completely useless information, but it's kind of fun.)


 Mr. Mallard also brought his lady friend along so that we could get her picture too.
(Note the almost hidden dark blue patch on the wing right above that bright orange foot.)

 
These ducks were totally looking for a handout and hung out around our boat until a certain someone realized they were there....

This particular someone overcame his dislike of swimming in order to chase them away from our boat.


Harvey swam farther away from solid ground than he ever has in his life in his excitement over the ducks.... until he looked back and realized just how far away from the boat AND the shore he was...

Below is a fuzzy, far-away shot that I blew up so you can see the panic-stricken moment of realization of how far he had gone...


And here he is high-tailing it back to the boat (pun intended), leaving the ducks to quack another day....


Spotted 5/25/12 on Watauga Lake.

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Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from you. If you can help me out with identifying any of these mystery birds or correct any mistakes I've made in identifying the others, I would so appreciate it! Happy Birding!