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02 January 2007

I hope all y'all have had a great holiday weekend! DS and I drove about halfway across the state hoping to get a good start on this year's bird list. It was rainy most of the day, so birding wasn't as good as we'd hoped. But we had a great time and watched a gorgeous sunset on the way home.

We stopped at one of my favourite spots in Madison, Lake Frances, to add Wood Ducks to our lists. There have been quite a few there every time we've been. Up till now. Not a single WD was to be found. Also MIA was the female Mandarin. We first spotted the male Mandarin Duck about 3 years ago. Last year, we found him with a mate. This trip, he was hanging out with 3 Mallards and a gargantuan 'Malloid' (mallard hybrid). There were several Cormorants and Anhingas, 12 Pied-billed Grebes swimming and diving and 2 Great Egrets scouring the shoreline.

The late hour and bad weather didn't make for great photography, but I did manage to get a few nice shots of the Mandarin. Isn't he gorgeous?!

Well, I reckon y'all will have to take my word for it. He really is gorgeous. But blogger still won't let me upload any pics. Apparently a lot of people are having the same problem and the blogger staff has yet to respond to any of the help requests.

EDIT: I've uploaded the pics to Photobucket so I can link them here.
Well, for some reason, the edges of the pics were cut off. *shrug* For those of you who asked, you can now click on the pics to see the originals.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin and Malloid


Hurricane Teen said...

Wow, I've been out in natural Florida all my life, and I've never seen a bird that colorful. He looks like an abstract painting with feathers!

SophieMae said...

He does give the Wood Ducks a run for their money, doesn't he? They haven't been very successful in FL. If you're interested, here's a little blurb with a link to FWC's report.

Hurricane Teen said...

Well I must say, for all their beauty, I am very glad they are not successful on account of that fact that they are non-native.

TropicRedbird said...

OMG .......... fantastic shot! Gorgeous bird