As I stated on Monday's post, although the muskrat gave me the best image of the day, that encounter was only the beginning of a very productive morning. I was pleasantly surprised when I observed this Wood Duck hen with her small brood. I was to find a moment later that there were at least two hens with very young broods. I assume that their earlier nesting had been unsuccessful and these tiny ducklings were the result of their second nesting attempts.
Soon after observing the small ducklings this Wood Duck hen with much larger immatures swam into view at the same spot. The sharp eyed hen caught me moving the camera into position and hurried her growing family out of my view.
After relocating to another part of the wetlands an immature Wood Duck male followed by an intermediate size duckling swam past my observation point. The various stages of wood duck development captured in this series illustrates that this year's hatch was spread out over a number of weeks.
Moments after photographing the previous pair a worried hen swam circles between me and the immatures while they made their escape. As soon as they were safely out of sight she disappeared into the vegetation surrounding the wetland pool. With the natural lighting being nearly perfect she gave me an excellent series of images as she placed herself between the perceived danger and her young.