Photos and video copyright Stephen Tabone
Bird photography at some places are almost too easy and convenient. We're supposed to have to lug heavy lenses, cameras, tripods, and backpacks through endless miles of mosquito infested woods and marsh just for the possibility of getting a great shot. That's not Oakley Street in Cambridge, Maryland. Here you get out of your car, walk maybe twenty feet and start shooting as many as a dozen species of wild ducks.
It's a little bizarre and you may have feelings of guilt, but as you can see from the video above, you can get some great shots.
Oakley Street is a residential street in the town that terminates at the Choptank River. There is a seawall at the end of the street and on the other side as many as several hundred wild ducks have gathered in the winter months for the past several decades. You might think this is strange until you visit and notice that some of the photographers (and there is almost always some photographers there) have cloth bags filled with shelled corn. A cupful tossed out on to the water every so often has conditioned the normally skittish ducks to come right up to the wall. That;s right, you can leave your long glass in the car. A 200 mm or 70 - 300 works fine here.
Although frowned upon by many birders and nature photographers (some call the seawall "The Wall of Shame"), both still come to see this minor phenomenon. Several TV shows and many articles have been produced over the years which help perpetuate its popularity.
Cambridge is less than 15 miles from Blackwater NWR. The town is on on Rt 50 on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
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