When There’s Yard Work to Do, Duck

Unlike many birders, I don’t have a “lifetime list” of birds, though it’s hard not to maintain one inside your head when local guides list a bird as “common” and you haven’t seen one in two years of taking photographs and walking birding areas. So perhaps it’s not to be unexpected that my heart skipped a little beat when I looked out across a wide field to try to identify this duck who insisted, for the most part, in submerging his head as he foraged. It turned out to be a pair of Cinnamon Teal, and I’m pretty sure I would have recognized the male if I’d ever seen one before as it has a very distinctive body color.

It’s nice to be able to experience that little rush of feeling at something new, particularly when it doesn’t come in a UPS truck.

Still, I’m even happier knowing I still get a rush when I see something as as beautiful as Shelley’s favorite duck even if I already have a dozen good pictures of it.

Heck, I’m equally happy that Mallards still strike me as quite beautiful when found in their natural setting rather than in local parks where bread-throwing visitors have managed to turn them into beggars rather than wild birds.