Rendezvous with whistling ducks

Whistling duck

Early morning, it was. My hands, barely visible, were trying to reach out to feel my way to the water’s edge. I had been started crawling to get a better view of the whistling duck. Had been wanting to take a few pics when the first ray of light alighted on them.I was still on dry and firm land, that’s what my hands told me. I had to be cautious of not crawling into the wet marsh, where I might get stuck. Needed to keep silent, to not scare away the ducks. But make enough noise to scare away the uninvited guests like snakes or other rodents. With adrenalin coursing through my veins, I kept going. I had started my day at 3.00 AM, when I left home. Started crawling around 4.30 AM. Now it was little over 5.00 AM and I could see the first light just appearing. 

Whistling duck portrait

In the sprouts of the first light of the day, I could make out the flock of whislting duck, not far in the marshes. I realized, that I will have a clear and wonderful angle. They were too engrossed to take any notice of me. I was around twenty feet from them. And… suddenly pandemonium broke loose… A stray dog had been observing me and decided to interrupt the sojourn at the most opportune moment. He rushed from behind me toward the geese barking loudly and splashed into the water. The geese rose up in the air in a perfect unison. The dog and I were left gaping at their flight. I lay there. All scouting for days and stalking and crawling had gone in vain. The dog was not responsible, I was. I should have been more aware of my surroundings and taken care not the jeopardise the whistling duck.

Whistling duck

With sheer bitterness welling up in me, I looked around. Got to my feet and looked back at the dog. He started back and ambled away into the unknown. I sat down and turned to the whislting duck. They seem to have settled down. They were still in the same spot in the marshes, near me. I slowly lay down and started crawling out to them again. I kept crawling till I reached the water edge and stopped there. Gently, I lifted the camera and pointed towards the whislting duck, There was a momentary silence. To me it was an endless deafening silence stretching into eternity. Without any preamble, the ducks resumed their rituals. The quacks and squawks resounded across the marshes. I started clicking… frame after frame. 

Whistling duck

And then the most unusual thing happened. They started moving towards me. In few moments I was surrounded by them. The flock of geese was having fun and frolic with me right in the middle of them! As if I was one of them, they were all around me. This was a rare phenomenon. Nothing short of a miracle… once in a lifetime event.Am pretty sure, nothing like this is going to happen again. I was too overwhelmed. I just lay there. After a few moments, I got conscious of the camera. I clicked a pic – “click”. The whistling ducks did not mind and I started clicking. There are some pics of the geese that came to say: “Hello!!!” This was a really heart changing and once in a life time experience and am sure nothing like this will ever again happen to me.


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