10 November 2014
American Crow Corvus brachyrynchos is a very common species (in fact they roost by the thousands in Waterloo at night), but it has been a bit of a nemesis for me in terms of photography, and today was no exception. The birds are very wary of humans, resulting from a long inheritance of persecution I suspect, and the fact that they are superficially a monochrome of dark black, makes for difficult photography.
This bird was bathing in a puddle in a depression on the ground when I first saw it, so I eased the car alongside, at a distance of about fifteen metres, and stayed there, unobtrusive, and becoming part of the scenery I hoped.
After it dried off and preened its feathers extensively, it flew up into a nearby tree.
At the Laurel Creek Reservoir, the ducks were all quite distant, but I managed to spot this female Wood Duck Aix Sponsa resting and preening
with a group of Mallards Anas platyrynchos.
A couple of American Coots Fulica americana were more cooperative and swam a little closer to the culvert on which I was standing.
The concentrations of waterfowl should build up considerably over the next few weeks and I will be keeping a close eye on the comings and goings. There were several other species on the water today, but way off in the distance and quite out of photographic range.