The best time to be at the marsh is early in the morning when it comes alive with activity. Having donned camouflage clothing, I headed for the marsh and once there put on a camo mask as well.
Some photographers scoff at wearing camo and it’s certainly not needed where wildlife is habituated to people, but this is a wild marsh where few humans venture except to hunt ducks in the fall. Here the wildlife is quite wary lest it become a predator’s next meal.
Part of the marsh blends into an extensive area of open water; there an osprey just returned from its southern wintering grounds soared overhead –
Sighting the osprey was a bonus for I’d really come in search of the wood ducks that nest in the nearby woodland. And so I set up in a patch of thick vegetation and waited. A short while later a pair of blue-winged teal landed off to one side of my location –
After about an hour a pair of wood ducks flew in to land across a narrow patch of open water –
It wasn't long before the wood ducks disappeared into a narrow channel in the cattails.
A wolf spider, eleven painted turtles and several red-winged blackbirds provided some diversion as I waited for the ducks to emerge – but they didn’t.
A second bonus of the day soon arrived in the form of two great egrets in full breeding plumage. One landed on the edge of the open water and proceeded in a stately way to stalk frogs, small fish, large insects and anything else it considered edible –
To the left was a male belted kingfisher that frequents a snag in the marsh, the snag is one of the large dead trees still standing after beavers flooded the area almost 35 years ago creating the marsh –