Winter has settled in with all the wonderful elements that make this time of year special. With the sun low in the sky the quality of light is often superb for photography. The cold temperatures provide ice and snow for winter activities and frosty scenes that ignite the photographers imagination. Just get dressed, grab your camera and head out. This morning was gorgeous with the low slung sun dabbling through trees as I sat on the river bank waiting for the Common Goldeneye Ducks to begin their foraging. These ducks are highly adapted to living in open water as evidenced by the appearance of 241 birds in the recent Boxing Day Bird Count. They are normally quite shy of people and swim to the center of the river if people approach on the bank. Fortunately they are more accustomed to people traffic along River Landing just below our brand new Remai Modern art gallery. I settled in among the rocks by the water and was delighted to see a couple of ducks with fresh water crayfish in their mouths as they bobbed up from a recent dive. It seemed that the crayfish were too large to swallow intact, so the duck thrashed it in the water, seemingly to break it into bite sized pieces. Many times the crayfish would drop from their bill into the water and they would merely dive under and retrieve it.
You can see the crayfish clearly in this picture with a female duck and her recent catch.
Click HERE for a YouTube video of the ducks diving and eating.
My ongoing fascination with the infinite, intricate, immaculate combinations of ice and water are evidenced in the photos below.
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