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Peeking Duck

An old image that I quite like and why

22 September 2022

Peeking Duck, Westlake, Santa Cruz, California

A recent tweet by Andy Pollard, a wildlife guide on the Falkland Islands, reminded of this image. It's an old photo that I have long titled in a terrible pun, "Peeking Duck".

It is a Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)that has buried its beak in a sea of white feathers. I love how the white makes the vivid red face and yellow eye-ring even more striking than usual. Then there is the wrinkled, some might say ugly skin with those stray well-defined feathers - like the few remaining hairs on a balding scalp.

Oh and when I say this is an old image, it was taken at Westlake in Santa Cruz, California back on 21 February, 2005. The equipment used was a Nikon D100, my first digital SLR, which I believe I still have, and the long gone 70-300mm kit lens. Being able to still reprocess and enjoy images like this is one of the benefits of having an archive dating back so far.

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