Just Checking In (Ducks, Doodles, and Dogs)

March 13, 2018

A bald eagle stirs up a mixed flock of waterfowl at B.K. Leach Conservation Area.

It has been a while since I’ve posted so this edition will be an update of some of my activities. March is the beginning of my waterfowl photography season so I’ve been out most every morning in a variety of places including MDC wetlands and private wetlands. I captured the featured image this morning as an eagle tormented the mixed flock of ducks at B.K. Leach Conservation Area. It often appears that bald eagles are just messing with ducks when they fly over and stir flocks off the water but it is actually an effective way to isolate an injured (non-flying) individual that can easily be picked up after the commotion begins.

I’ve had a slow start with the ducks this season as I’ve been too lazy to lug decoys along with all of my other gear. That will have to change!


Here is another image from this morning as a trio of ringnecks is just about to hit the water. Currently, ring-necked ducks are the most common species I’ve been seeing, along with mallards. Earlier in the year, I saw large flocks of northern pintails. By the way, I have seen two to four sandhill cranes on every trip to B.K. Leach C.A.


A group of pintails from earlier in the season, taken at my friend Sean Cleary’s private wetland in Carroll County. Sean and I had a blast at his restored farmhouse and wetland. When I wasn’t photographing waterfowl we were playing bluegrass guitar together. Unfortunately, it became extremely cold right before my arrival and froze the wetland up. We managed to break some ice so I could get a few shots during my stay.


Another group of pintails from the Carroll County trip. Northern pintails are one of my favorite waterfowl to photograph.


A group of tundra swans flew right over my pit blind at Sean’s place in Carroll County. If you look closely, you can see their telltale marks of yellow in front of their eyes. This separates them from trumpeter swans. There might be a trumpeter or two mixed in with this group.


One morning I took a break from waterfowling and headed down to West Plains to try to photograph American woodcock, sometimes referred to as timberdoodles, with my friend Dave Mayers. Although his German shorthaired pointer, Java, pointed 20 birds, they were so well-camouflaged, right at our feet, that I never made an image. At least I got some nice shots of Java.


I continue to work with magazines all over the country and I must say it is a wonderful feeling to get paid for your art. Above is my latest cover, an American bittern in its typical habitat.

That’s all for now folks. I’ll see you in the swamps, at least for the next several weeks.

Thanks for looking,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images/Print Information:  https://dannybrown.smugmug.com




6 comments on “Just Checking In (Ducks, Doodles, and Dogs)”

  1. Hi Danny

    1. Ohhh that Bittern! worthy of my oil painting 2. Might you want to exhibit / sell photos at our Sept. 15 Monarch Madness Festival? Near Busch at the Weldon Spgs Interpretive Center No charge 3. Might you be free to speak to our Master Naturalist chapter this Fall/Summer/Winter/ next Spring?,

    Inspired by your stories & art,

    Leslie Limberg Audubon platinum habitat MONPS member

  2. When we mix different flowers or food items together in one offering, it’s called “kadambam” (pronounced cuh-dum-bum) in Tamil. Thank you for the kadambam of images. Do I see you possibly getting into pet portraiture as well, given your command over the equipment? If so, I see you “swamped” with work all through the year!

    • Ha…..pet portraits = too much like work. I do enjoy photographing my friends pets from time to time though.

  3. My favorite of this series is the tundra swans. Stunning shot. Of course I love the eagle…anything with a good look at an eagle is wonderful.

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