Male Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck hunting for food on February 21, 2022. Today was the first day in over 5 months I've traveled outside the neighborhood to photograph. My motivation to shoot has been low due to Delta + Omicron variants and winter temperature being quite cold this year. The temperature was a high of 60 degrees with sun so today was a great day to start getting back into bird photography. My start was late due to not leaving until almost 10 AM but my drive is ~22 minutes to this location. A friend mentioned the Wood Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks were cooperative lately. I brought 15 pounds of corn with me in hopes they would still be hungry that late in the morning. The geese and mallards were of course hungry, as they always are. There was a thin layer of ice still on the pond. I tossed corn on the ice and they eventually broke through to the edge of the pond, with the Wood Duck and one of several Ringed-neck Ducks following.

As I have many shots of Wood Ducks from other locations, I tried to focus more on the Ringed-necks. The pond is only able to be traversed on the eastern side so my time was limited with good light. The lone Ringed-neck who was coming for corn eventually found his way into the pond part with the wonderful blue water. You need to be positioned at the pond correctly for that water color. I shoot north because if you shoot west or south, you get a dull brown color in the water instead.

Lens - Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 @ 600mm on Nikon D500