Monday, February 6, 2012

Blue-winged Teal in red crystal waters...

I saw this beautiful Blue-winged Teal couple in the Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island, Florida. They were swimming in the channel off the Indigo Trail quietly moving in and out of the mangrove roots. The water was dull and murky with a slight reddish-brown cast, but when the couple moved into an area of deep shadow sprinkled with pockets of filtered sunlight, an optical illusion brought the water to life. Wherever the sun struck the murky water, fiery red color seemed to rise up from below, as if it was being lit by flaming crystals underneath...

The male Blue-winged teal left a stream of fiery color in his wake. What an unusual sight!! I'd never seen anything like it before, and on my return walk, the illusion was gone.

A male Blue-winged Teal in breeding plumage is so striking. I love spotting the white crescent-shaped mark on his face and the white circular patch near his tail. If you look sideways and combine his reflection, he looks like an eerie owl with huge white eyes. His speckled chest and sides add to the owlish look. When I was photographing him, the owl illusion really jumped out. The whole scene was surreal...creepy...and Scooby Dooby Doo-ish!

...can this water be real? You would think red "mood" lighting had been installed underneath as an added attraction for tourists...sort of like the old disco floors...

Disco ducks?

...eventually the Blue-winged Teal couple left the deep shadows....

...and came out into the light. The glowing reds left the water, but a small patch of his his famous sky-blue wing coverts became visible instead!

I photographed these birds last March. I wish I were in Florida now, though!

27 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Love the firey water colors.

Sue said...

What luck to be there at just the right time-the light is amazing. And what a cute couple of "disco" ducks!
:)

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a beautiful duck and fantastic photos. I have only seen these ducks at a distance thru my binocs. Your closeup photos are wonderful.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Great photos--they're like jewels! The teals look as if they pose for the paparazzi all the time!

holdingmoments said...

Amazing colours in the water Kelly; and such a beautiful duck.

TexWisGirl said...

gosh, these are just beautiful! you're right, the water coloring is fabulous!

ShySongbird said...

What a very striking bird, Kelly! I love the colouring.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Well--are you going back when March gets here? When I lived in Venice, FL---March was the prettiest season of the year.

Love your Blue-winged Teals... So pretty.

Hugs,
Betsy

Janice K said...

Those are beautiful!

Tammie Lee said...

oh my goodness! Your photos are gorgeous, i hope many people will enjoy them. The colors delight and more delight and such beautiful birds. thank you~

Rick said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I will be keeping an eye open for these beautiful birds. I'm only three weeks away from my trip to Punta Gorda, Florida and Ding Darling is naturally on top of the list. Thanks for sharing, Kelly.
P.S. Did anyone offer you a calendar from Raptor, Inc.? I have one if you would like it.

Kerri said...

Oh WOW .... these are stunning captures!

cherry said...

Thank you I am now humming Disco, Disco Duck ..lol These pictures are truly amazing..

hugs from Savannah, Cherry

Banjo52 said...

You've done it again. Very nice!

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful captures, those red tones in the water are quite amazing.

Alan Pavey said...

That water really does give a great effect, lovely images.

Toni Kelly said...

Beautiful colors for a painting.

KAT said...

these photos are mind blowing

Elaine said...

It's all about being in the right place at the right time! These are gorgeous photos!

Mary said...

There color is so beautiful! Lovely photos of them.

Dan Huber said...

Lovely photos Kelly. I have only had the pleasure to see this bird once and was from a distance.

Carole M. said...

how beautiful; all those dots! Very sweet ...

Chris said...

Wow my, absolutely stunning pictures Kelly... The blue of the duck and the colours of the water made it! Sumptuous and the sharpness and nice compo is there too... These are sumptuous perfect shots!

Guy said...

Kelly

I have never seen anything like that. I am really impressed that your were able to capture the colours. The photos are stunning.

Your posts have given me a much needed lift.

Thank
You

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

The colors are amazing!

dAwN said...

Gorgeous photos! Wish you were here too!

clark said...

you need to submit some of these photos to the National Geographic annual contest. they're good enough to win!