Honestly, I gasped when I saw it. A male wood duck, floating just a few feet away outside my window. Wood ducks are the most colorful bird we see on or around the island -- with its green, blue, gold, orange, red, brown, black coloring and distinctive white lines. This is the first one I've seen from the houseboat and probably the closest I've ever seen one. I first spotted it around 9:30 in the morning. I got the camera and that spooked it and it scooted off. It seemed to be hanging around a "regular" mallard pair, and eventually floated back. I started taking photos from inside.
Eventually it floated downriver, although I spotted it with binocs around 11:30 amid three mallard pairs outside the next houseboat, but it's 12:30ish now and the wood duck is gone again.
I am very lucky to have a place where there is a huge window, a tiny strip of deck and then the water. It allows birds to come just a few feet away from me for excellent views. Yesterday I saw a coot here for the first time, also passing close by.
It's 1:29 p.m. and the wood duck is back in sight, swimming alongside a cormorant. A large boat towing a Zodiac passes near the other side of the channel and the wood duck veers closer to my houseboat, then floats downstream.
It's 2:15 and the wood duck is floating with two mallards in front of the houseboat next door downriver.
Nearly 3, and the wood duck was just outside my window but moved quickly away as I moved to take a photo.
3:14 -- oh, wait. This isn't the first wood duck I've seen at the moorage. I spotted one in the backwater near the ramp a month or so ago. I looked in my notebook and don't see that I wrote it down.
It's 4:48 and here's the wood duck, again swimming in front of my deck with the mallard pair. Maybe it will return another day ...