Obliging ducks

The exquisite details of ducks are often missed, I tend to walk past them unless they’ve got ducklings or I want to test new equipment. This week’s images are taken with a range of new gear and will hopefully honour the ducks as well taking advantage of their obliging natures.


Pacific Black Duck - Kim Wormald
Pacific Black Duck


Oh my goodness I just love the mottled blacks and browns on the breast of the black duck above. And those dark feathers fringed with buff edges, and the disruptive camouflage of the stripes across its sweet face. I’m happy with the way the camera and lens combination, and the setting used, has keep the duck’s bill, breast, eye and head in sharp focus against the softness of its back.


Pacific Black Duck - Kim WormaldPacific Black Duck


Pacific Black Ducks are related to non-native mallards. This is an issue in areas where mallards have been released as the two species will often interbreed, creating hybrid birds. Black ducks are predominantly vegetarian which, sadly, is one of the reasons they are targetted by hunters. Unlike several Australian states, the Victorian government has permitted yet another duck season which will begin shortly and leave many hundreds of dead and dying species littering our wetlands.


Pacific Black Duck - Kim WormaldPacific Black Duck


Pacific Black Ducks dabble their bills in the water to feed on the seeds of aquatic plants. If the water is deeper they up-end themselves and all we see are their tails dancing about as they feed.



Australian Wood Duck - Kim WormaldAustralian Wood Duck


The Australian Wood Duck images show a female, males have a dark brown head.


Australian Wood Duck - Kim Wormald Australian Wood Duck


The wood duck had ruffled her feathers in the image above, creating a lovely pattern of tiny spikes and stripes.


 Pacific Black Duck - Kim Wormald
Australian Wood Duck


Australian Wood Ducks are slightly smaller and finer than Pacific Blacks, about 47cm to 55cm. They are also known as the Maned Duck or Maned Goose and a few feathers of the ‘mane’ can be seen in the images above, the mane of male wood ducks is more prominent.

If you’re in the Melbourne area you might enjoy the Knox Photographic Society/Knox Council Landscape-Nature-Wildlife photography exhibition that is due to open at the end of February at the 1812 Theatre in Upper Ferntree Gully.

Happy birding, Kim


PS  The ducks were obliging but tonight’s raging thunder storms aren’t as I’m working on the laptop and don’t have access to the camera details for each image.


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