Santee Lakes on day three of the Southern California Bird Photography Workshop I led on Janaury 9th (yes, I'm still catching up on posting) Warm weather and lot of ducks!
The weird thing about Ring-necked Ducks is they should have been called "Ring-billed" Ducks. The white ring on the bill is far more distinct for birders then the not so obvious ring of rusty feathers on the neck. In this image a little of the ring-neck can be seen.
Santee Lakes are the easiest place to photograph Wood Ducks, a little cracked corn and they love to have their picture taken. It's possible to get really low and shoot eye level.
It's always fun to see an Osprey in the winter, I think this one is at Santee year around, but in the Pacific Northwest where I live, we don't have them very often in the winter.
Last year I posted an image of the male Great-tailed Grackle, so here's the female. I think I like the color tones of the females brown feathers.
So, coots are in the rail family not the duck family. We see them with ducks all the time, and the other rails (Sora, Virginia Rail) are so shy it's difficult to think of the ubiquitous, coot as anything other than a duck.