Every couple of weeks we visit Brett’s aunt Lena that lives in a nursing home. The property is really nice and includes a small duck pond. We take her around the pond and sit on the bench watching the ducks swim around. I recently saw a redhead duck there all alone among the mallards.
These four ducks always stay close together.
Someone has been feeding them because as soon as we sat down, they came out of the water and right up to us. They were looking for a snack which we didn’t have. Other than the one that kept banging on my shoe when I wasn’t looking, they were pretty docile. All of these were taken with my phone.
I made my annual duck sighting trip to the duck ponds outside Fort De Soto in early December. As usual this time of year, the pond was full of redheads and ring necked ducks. They were all still sleeping when I got there.
A few of them had their eye on me. We only get redheads in the winter.
A juvenile white ibis tries to land in the middle. He did not stay.
There were a few northern shovelers floating as well.
A male shoveler came by pretty close.
The female was trying to sleep in.
This one might still be a juvenile. The colors in his feathers were not quite bright yet. He seemed curious.
The pond will hopefully stay full throughout the winter. I’ll keep checking if they do in case something unusual shows up. I had heard there was an American wigeon there but I couldn’t find him. It will be a lifer if I can find him.
A very small sampling of the massive amount of ducks in a tiny pond before you drive into Fort Desoto park. Some say there are thousands there. Most are redheads with a few ring necks and lesser scaup.
That coot in the middle was like “I’m tired of being surrounded by redheads. I’m outta here.”
Most were trying to sleep the morning I stopped by.
Many were preening and bathing.
A juvenile ring billed gull flies over the pond. Looks like no place to land on the water.
There were a few northern shovelers in the pond but they stayed in a group by themselves in the corner.
The “duck pond” before you drive into the park is always empty in the summer. In the winter it’s filled with migrating ducks. This winter seems like the most we’ve had. There wasn’t much room for another duck. Since I took these a couple of weeks ago, the redheads have moved to a lagoon across from the east beach turnaround at the park. It’s in front of the Sunshine Skyway bridge. People are estimating there could be as many as 10,000 there right now. They must have eaten all of the bugs in the pond so they had to move to find more bugs? Those redheads really are distinctive looking ducks. So pretty.