Wednesday, May 15, 2024

At the Pond

Fog extended from the ridgetop to the valley floor, it was very dense in the forest and at the beaver pond. The pond is number two on my list of favorite places to sit behind a camera watching for wildlife.

Quiet was the key as I walked to the edge of the pond, opened up a small folding chair, put on my ghillie jacket and mounted the camera and its telephoto lens on a monopod. But there was no way to do that without the three pairs of Canada geese on the pond taking notice and making a racket.

It wasn’t long before the geese quieted down and ignored, or forgot about, the strange creature on the shore. One pair climbed up on the beaver lodge while another squabbled –

Further down the pond was a male hooded merganser, but no other waterfowl were to be seen.

I’d been there less than a half hour when a black-capped chickadee landed on my left knee. Finding nothing of interest there, it hopped over to my right knee where there also nothing of interest. From there it flew to a small bush which it explored with better results –

Meanwhile the hooded merganser was making slow circuits of the pond –

An eastern phoebe repeatedly flew from several favored perches to snatch insects flying over the water –

Wood ducks flew over repeatedly, often in pairs, and three landed far down the pond. Finally a pair landed nearby and gradually worked their way closer to me as they fed –

But wood ducks are extremely wary and they knew something was amiss, so it wasn’t long before they flew off.

The whole time red-winged blackbirds flew back and forth across the pond, one landed nearby to vocalize and display

To my right was a dead tree that had broken off, leaving a snag about 20 feet tall that became a temporary perch for, in turn, a male cardinal and a yellow-shafted flicker –

With a great clamor the six geese took off; when they were gone the pond was still. But the hooded merganser continued his rounds of the pond, occasionally displaying for a female that apparently wasn’t there –

After two an a half hours it was time for me emulate the geese, leave the pond and go elsewhere after a great morning at the pond.


  1. Great series! I love the Hooded Merganser and the Wood Ducks!
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great day and happy weekend.

  2. You are an amazingly patient bird photographer! How neat that the chickadee landed on your knees.
    best, mae at

  3. That hooded Merganser is one of the oddest ducks but so much fun to see. Love visiting the pond with you!

  4. I was thinking the same re: he's an odd duck. Maybe that's where the expression came from?! Kim in PA


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