I know I did. What, exactly? Well, duck migration. The early migrants have packed up and moved north. With the clearing ice, the bulk of the early duck migrants (Redhead, Canvasback, Northern Pintail, etc.) have moved north. I had big plans the previous weekend to shoot some ducks. Then I got sick. So, this was going to be the big weekend to get out and get a lot of photos. That kind of worked out.
I slept in. Work has been piling up, and it was rough getting back into it after being sick all weekend. Saturday morning, the alarm went off. I got out of bed and started getting ready to head out, but I ended up crawling back in. I finally got up and headed south to Monroe Co. to look for Pine Warbler. I found five. I only managed photos of one, though. I hand nearly as many Red-breasted Nuthatch. After a whole winter of fretting about not getting to shoot any during an irruption year, I finally found a cooperative one in March!
The big part of the day was heading down to Monty's Station to shoot ducks with Jeremy Ross. First time I've got to meet Jeremy in person, and he's a great guy. I suited up in my freshly purchase chest waders, and Jeremy led me out on my first foray into duck hunting; just when it's warmer and with a camera. Jeremy is passionate about ducks. It's like talking to Amar about gulls; he's just pure excitement and passion, and it's great to see. I wish I could say that my photos did the experience justice. It appears I have a lot to learn about shooting ducks in flight. I had a really great time. I hope to make it back down this season, but it will be tough. Definitely an experience to remember.
With the quick thaw, numbers were down and diversity was a bit lower. The dabblers are just starting to move in; so, we did have a few Blue-winged Teal. Mostly, we had large numbers of Mallards and Gadwall. We also had: a few Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Wood Duck, Black Duck, Ring-necked Duck, and Northern Pintail. I'm sure Jeremy out-shot me. I learned a lot and am really happy with the overall experience. Mostly because I didn't fall into the mud.
Thanks for reading,