Mallard caught in a Ring-billed Gull feeding frenzy – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I mentioned in my Raccoon on ice post yesterday that I went out to photograph twice on New Years Day, first at Farmington Bay WMA and then later at a local pond. The light was much better by the time I went to the local pond and there were hundreds of gulls, ducks, Pied-billed Grebes and coots that were on the open water or in the ice.
An older man pulled up in a mid-sized sedan that was full of bread, it appeared the front seat was full, the back seat was full and who knows, maybe his trunk was full too. I think the ducks and gulls are used to this man feeding them bread regularly.
I know bread is bad for the birds and maybe I should say something to the older gentleman but then again maybe feeding the birds is his only joy. I’ll have to think on this.
What happened though was hundreds of gulls and almost all of the mallards came to where he parked his car to throw bread out by flying in or running over the snow-covered grass. It was loud because of the insistent calls of the gulls and the clamorous quacking of the ducks, loud enough to almost be annoying to me. There were numerous squabbles over the food that moved into the sky as the gulls chased after each other on the wing and as the ducks ran to the open water right in front of me to eat their bounty.
I noticed a Mallard hen and was watching and photographing her when the gulls swarmed around her like bees do honey and caught her immediately after a Ring-billed Gull grabbed her bread right out of her bill. I was firing away as all of this happened because I liked all the action but didn’t really think I’d get any usable images of the action happening in front of me.
But then I got home and saw this photo and couldn’t help but laugh because it looks like the Mallard is screaming “They got my food, they got my food!” while the gulls in the background fight over her morsel of bread so I couldn’t resist sharing it here this morning and I hope that it brightens your day and please feel free to add what you think this duck might say if it could talk.
This is not a great image by any means but it is a funny one.
Laughter is good medicine and I love spreading it around.
Life is good.