Monday, March 10, 2008

More Waterfowl At Middle Creek

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is truly a haven for Pennsylvania waterfowl, most of them migratory birds on their way north to their summer range. Many if not most of the Canadian Geese are resident populations, but the Tundra Swans and Snow Geese are not and they are only there for a short time before they continue their journey to their nesting areas in the arctic tundra. A large flock of Canadian Geese and Tundra Swans were on the lake during our visit of last Monday, but the light was not the best for photographic purposes and I got no good flock shots of the swans.

Canadian Geese and Tundra Swans: Canon 40-D 500mmF4
(the white spots on the water is feathers or down from the birds)

Mallard Drakes and Hen: Canon 40D 500mmF4

It is easy to confuse female Mallards with Black Ducks as the coloration is quite close, but the Black Duck is, as the name implies, darker, or black appearing.

Black Ducks: Canon 40-D 500mmF4

Much of the land at the management area is off limits to public entry. This makes good photography difficult at times, as the birds are often too far away, but it is essential to keep overly enthusiastic viewers and photographers from frightening the birds, and causing them to leave the area. There are a few small ponds or "potholes" close to the roadway and photography is possible in these areas.

Here is a link to the PGC website that explains the reason for their restricted entry policy along with other information on the waterfowl.


Tom said...

The Tundra Swans are new to me Willard so thanks for showing them.. I have made a note to look them up later.
Areas like this a great, we have many wetlands in the UK which are looked after much the same as this. At this time of the year even some of the smaller lakes are visited by migratory birds.

Anonymous said...

I love these ducks. I think I saw Wood Ducks on Ash's blog the other day. I wish we had some of those around here. I don't know what you have to do to get some of these animals to move into Brookville, but I wish I knew.

We do have Mallard ducks galore and lots of Canada Geese thanks to the city ordinances that mandates the all new house construction plats must have a pond for ever so many houses. So each plat has at least one or more.

That brings in gobs of geese and ducks.

I miss the old days when you could walk across a field and turn around and look back from where you came and see a young fox watching you. LOL. I really liked that and never could imagine walking right past a fox den in a flat plowed field but did it lots of times.

Thanks for your continued support and comments and visits to my blog, Willard. I appreciate it a lot.

Kerri Farley said...

Wow Willard...what jumps out at me is that the Tundra Swans looks so much larger than the Canada Geese. I think of Canada Geese as these Tundra Swans must be HUGE! I have NEVER seen Tundra Swans before....what an experience that would be!! Mallards we have here...but I LOVE them all the same. I am not familiar with Black not sure if we have them here or not.
A fabulous post once again!!

Unknown said...

Nice duck picture. I like getting pictures like these. Thes are a lot better then the zoo because you get to see them in there own habitat;-)


Michele said...

Beautiful photos as always. The ice is finally coming off the local creeks and streams and the ducks and other small water fowl are coming in fast so it is nice to see our waterways alive once again!

Anonymous said...

As Michele said here you can always be certain to see beautiful photos.
I loved the tundra swans and found quite unique seein so many feather on the water.

imac said...

Super shots Willard.
Funny how ev1 go Quackers over

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Very cool "waterfowl", Willard.

Stacey Olson said...

beautiful swans.
I saw my first ones here on our local river durring the Christmas bird count. but I only Got some so-so pics of them. Yours are beautiful.Thanks for sharing

Misty DawnS said...

Great photos as always... I especially love the first shot!

Kostas said...

Other amazing post, with marvellous photographs from a real artist with big experience in this type of photograph!

Michael Serafin-St. John said...

What caught my eye in your discussion, Willard, was your observation about overly enthusiastic visitors scaring wildlife. My editorial on this would be, how and why? If the observers aren't destroying nesting-grounds, aren't our feathered friends able to cope with them? It sounds odd to me that such tough restrictions should be thought necessary...

Kekiinani said...

Cool duckie shots!! To me everything is a duck... I know I know... I get lots of flack about it!!! You have inspired me to venture down to the lake here by my mom's house and find some to photo.. THANKS!! :) :) Yup I am still here in Calif.. Aloha, Renee :)

Willard said...

You do have a point, it is entirely possible that they do have too much of the area off limits. I think the nesting thing is one of the big points. I think there is a a fear too that when one of the big flocks of geese are in the field Here that people would walk in on them and scare them off.

On the other hand I have seen similar situations in national parks with herds of deer. The park does not restrict entry and the visitors do not drive the animals from the area.

I for one would at least like to see observation blinds erected in some of the areas where photographers and viewers could have close-up encounters with the waterfowl.

Like most if not all of its' lands, the PGC manages this area primarily for hunting and only a small portion is closed to that activity.

Their official position on the matter may be found at

I can,t seem to link to that on the comments page so I'll edit the post and embed the link there!