Tail Ends, Chandler AZ

Hanging around water birds, hoping for a flare close to shore, I notice that some of the birds have a really cute dive. They don’t just sink under the surface like the loons at home, nor do they just stick their head under the surface, like the mallards.

Female mallard with head under water

Instead, they do a little tuck and roll, like a pre-schooler starting a somersault, somehow lifting off the water just a tad before disappearing. Sploosh. I immediately decide I need a picture of these birds as they get some air between them and the water.

Again, it turns out to be harder than it looks. Several splooshes later, I have as many shots of the ripples after the dive.

Montage of 6 photos of splashes from diving ducks

But I keep at it, and eventually gather several shots of the tail ends of water birds. I’m still too late, but I’m not as late.

Montage of 11 photos of tail ends of diving ducks

Finally, tracking a bird a fair way offshore, I get that tingly sensation: He’s gonna go! I hit the button, and he launches.

Reflected tail end of a duck, diving.

Well, OK, it still isn’t exactly what I was hoping for, but (as in golf), the close shots are what bring you back.


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7 Responses to Tail Ends, Chandler AZ

  1. Laurna Tallman says:

    Delightful. Thank you.

  2. Judith Umbach says:

    Fabulous! Excellent persistence.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Sploosh! Indeed, I learned (sort of) what they looked like just before they dove – a side benefit I hadn’t been pursuing.

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    From The Wind in the Willows, by Kennth Grahame

     “DUCKS’ DITTY.”
    All along the backwater,
    Through the rushes tall,
    Ducks are a-dabbling,
    Up tails all!
    Ducks’ tails, drakes’ tails,
    Yellow feet a-quiver,
    Yellow bills all out of sight
    Busy in the river!
    Slushy green undergrowth
    Where the roach swim—
    Here we keep our larder,
    Cool and full and dim.
    Everyone for what he likes!
    We like to be
    Heads down, tails up,
    Dabbling free!
    High in the blue above
    Swifts whirl and call—
    We are down a-dabbling
    Up tails all!

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