It was a long shot, both literally and figuratively. I have been asking around for the locations of wood ducks to photograph all summer. With no results, I searched the Internet for wood duck sightings on the north shore. I read about two sightings in West Newbury (Massachusetts) in the last 2 weeks. Yesterday, when my favorite photoshoot location in Gloucester had no activity, I decided to try West Newbury. Entering the locations into my Droid Navigator, I was at the Cherry Hill Street reservoir in 45 minutes. No wood ducks. Next stop the Ash Street swamp. Now, you have to understand that I have never photographed a wood duck. In fact, I have never seen a wood duck. But, I have seen tons of beautiful photos from many of my colleagues and I am envious. I found the swamp, parked the car, walked down the dirt road, peeked through some cattail stalks and WOW! There was a beautiful, male wood duck! It was a long shot – about 200 feet. Shooting with my Canon 7D and 100-400mm lens I was able to capture this distant and greatly cropped wood duck.
Excited, I went back to my car to retrieve my 500mm lens. When I returned, of course, it had flown away.
The wood duck is the most beautiful duck that I have ever seen and I am happy to say that I now have a photograph of one! I still hope to get that up close, “perfect shot”, so I intend to be back to that swamp over the next month. Stayed tuned and wish me luck!