Tower Grove Wood Ducks…and More

October 1, 2014

Happy October everybody! The trees are already changing around the farm and there is a chill in the air, at least early in the morning.

A few days ago, I stopped by Tower Grove Park to check on the baby wood ducks I photographed for a previous edition. I arrived early in the morning to find that several of them had survived and were almost full-grown. The featured image (500 mm; 1/250; f/6.3; ISO 400; Av) is of a male and a female I found hanging together in a patch of lily pads. I spent about 30 minutes watching and photographing them as they played together. You can see the tell-tale red eyes of the male on the right; the one on the left is a female.

Later, as the sun broke the treetops, I found this shaggy little drake on its own in some fiery water. He came so close, I jumped my f stop from 4.0 to 6.3 to get more depth of field across his body. Oh, how beautiful this bird will look in breeding plumage some day.

DJB_TGP_2014_1191Drake Wood Duck (Juvenile); 500 mm; 1/500; f/6.3; ISO 400; Av

If you missed the previous post when the wood ducks were but tiny ducklings, I’ve included one of the images from that day. It was a windy, chilly morning and they couldn’t seem to get warm enough under mama. If you’ve already seen them, I think you will appreciate this previously unreleased photo as well.

DJB_TGP_2014_1130Wood Duck with Ducklings; 500 mm; 1/400; f/8.0; ISO 400; Av

Before I left Tower Grove Park, I hiked over to the Gaddy Bird Garden to check for any warblers that might have been passing through. When I arrived at the “bubbler rock” where warblers and squirrels often stop for refreshment, I found this red-tailed scoundrel waiting for breakfast.

DJB_TGP_2014_1201Red-tailed Hawk; 500 mm; 1/25; f/5.6; ISO 400; Av

I had the time of my life watching the redtail drop from a perch above the rock three different times in an effort to catch a squirrel. As unlucky as it was, I bet it wasn’t too long before one of the nervous bushytails met its maker. Fun times!

Thanks for looking,

Danny Brown

Email me at:  NatureFrames@RocketMail.Com

6 comments on “Tower Grove Wood Ducks…and More”

  1. Such delightful photos! Nature Frames is one blog I never duck 😀

  2. That interaction is perfect.

  3. I really admire your work and after seeing your photos the past few years in the Missouri Conservationist it finally dawned on me you might have a website or blog. I like the juvenile drake wood duck above. The mirror reflection takes what would be a really nice photo to something more.

    I was also at Tower Grove recently. Got my first ever picture of ducks taking off from the water and of flying. I got many pictures of what I think was a green heron on Victoria lilies. He gave me all sorts of poses making him look like a different bird several times. He even gave me the opportunity for action shots when he jumped from one leaf to another a couple of times.

    • Hi David: I so glad you found the blog. I post every Wednesday morning. I worked on a project at Tower Grove Park for almost a year, photographing the wildlife. It’s a great park, for birds especially. You are correct that the bird in the lily ponds was a green heron. I’ve seen it there during my last couple of visits.

  4. Hello Danny,
    I was showing some of my fellow duck hunting friends your pictures. They want to join your nature post.
    Their names are Bret Sieve and Matt McClealand and they were one of Joyce’s old students as well.
    Their email are Sievelawncare@yahoo.com and Mattmc101@hotmail.com

    Keep up the great pictures!

    Thanks,
    Lou Brunworth

    >

    • Thanks for spreading the word, Lou. WordPress requires Matt and Steve to enter their emails in the “Follow Box” at the bottom of the current Nature Frames box and they will begin receiving the emails. Take care, and say “Hi” to your dad and mom from Joyce and me.


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