Toward the end of my walk the other day, I noticed a duck I didn’t recognize. It was about the size of a Mallard, perhaps a little bulkier, with a mottled beak and a white patch under its chin. It was solitary and silent and sat on the same snag at the edge of the pond for some time, grooming itself and enjoying the rain. Fortunately I had my bigger camera with me, so I was able to stand back and zoom in.
When I got home, I looked at my favorite bird encyclopedia and consulted the Cornell Bird Lab website, which suggested that I had probably seen an American black duck, or a hybrid black/Mallard, which is common. Whatever it was, I really liked its dark, complex coloration and the patches of dark teal on its wings and tail.
As always, I found it very satisfying to take pictures of this bird. Waterfowl are the easiest to take pictures of, because they don’t move too fast and are easy to see.
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