Like everyone, I'm sure, I have my favorite places to go birding. Branched Oak Lake and Pawnee Lake are closest to home and I frequent both of them regularly. For some time I have operated under the impression that Branched Oak was the better of the two. Complements of the wonders of computers, a few weeks ago I compiled a "master" list of the birds I have seen over the last few years while at each lake. I was somewhat suprised to see the "master" lists of both closely matched each other in numbers of birds seen. This was in spite of my having spent far more time at Branched Oak. After mulling this for awhile, I decided that since I usually hit Pawnee after Branched Oak, I'm usually on the verge of being "birded" out, so I rush along and as a result I'm left with the impression that the birding isn't as good.
I had limited time this morning, so I decided to go only to Pawnee and test my theory that if I wasn't rushed, I would find the birding just as good. One day does not prove or disprove a theory, but if today is an indicator, my theory is correct.
When I first got there I was sitting there by the lake. It was calm. There was a guy a little ways out on the lake in his boat fishing, and a couple fishing from the shore. Then there was me, munching on some healthy donuts and soaking up the joy of being there. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were paddling around. No other ducks were in sight and it appeared they were enjoying the solitude also. Eventually they got within camera range. I wanted a nice picture of the two of them floating along. Mrs. Mallard had other ideas. She decided it was time to preen. Watching them through the lens I realized how pretty the blue speculum of Mrs. Mallard was. So I present Mr. and Mrs. Mallard with Mrs. Mallard showing off those blue feathers that we rarely see.