As I study the waves in this photograph I wonder is that in the mind of this duck as it considers its next move…
Very likely the wind had picked up. The regular wave pattern suggests this.
Whatever the reason, paddling looks to be somewhat more difficult than on a glassy surface. Maybe a bit more rest on the warm pontoon is the better option…
Or maybe not. It could get worse.
Point is, did he deliberate? Did instinct take over? Or was it something else??