I recently took a ride to the Durham/Wallingford area in search of ducks and geese. This is known to be a productive area to find certain types of waterfowl, especially in November.
I was able to find some Green-winged Teal , which seem to prefer the most shallow of ponds.I don't know what the deal was with this white- headed goose but I'm guesing it must be some sort of hybrid. It looks like Canada Goose that had a bad bleach job and used artificial tanning cream on its legs.
The Canada Geese in this photo were in a small pond on route 68 that is owned by a hunting club. I noticed just beyond the geese were some small ducks.
A closer look revealed that they were Ruddy Ducks. I have found Ruddy Ducks at this pond in past years. I 'm guessing that the depth of the water, type of vegetation, and geographic location are some of the reasons why they return here but I'm curious why they ignore other ponds in the area that appear to be almost identical to this one. They must have their reasons because I counted 26 of them and 26 Ruddy Ducks can't be wrong!
The Ruddy Duck is a small diving duck that rarely walks on land. It is very difficult for them to walk because their feet are set so far back on their body. I like they look swimming around with their tails perked up in the air. They were an introduced species over in Europe and are considered to be a problem in some areas over there.
Below are some links to information I found on the web about Ruddy Ducks. Much of the information is the same but each one offers something slightly different.
and there is fantastic photo of a Ruddy Duck on this recent post from Birding is Fun