It always seemed to me that given their gaudy colors, the birds called “wood ducks” should have been called “harlequin ducks”. On the other hand, I supposes that the ducks shown below probably wouldn’t want to be called “wood ducks.” Still, even though their coloring is spectacular, it also has a certain contrasty dignity that doesn’t seem to go with the court jester. In any case, one of the surest places to encounter this little fellow is the jetty near the Barnagat Light in New Jersey during the coldest winter days. It’s true that the rocks are usually covered with ice, and more than one photographer has had to be rescued after a fall; the “Barnagat Jetty Site Guide” is one long safety message. However, Tuesday was warm, and I was able to carefully make my way onto the jetty without slipping, and here are the results.

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