Ducks Geese Swans 2006

2006

243
Mt. Desert Island, Maine – December 27, 2006
Here is a good view of this odd duck’s bill. Just as well take a photo from this angle, as side views very seldom allow me to see the duck’s eye.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

241
Mt. Desert Island – Acadia National Park – Maine – December 27, 2006
Here is the female Common Eider. It is basically brown with white wing bars.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

240
Mt. Desert Island – Acadia National Park, Maine
This is a young male Common Eider. You can see that it is beginning to turn white. In this plummage it is easier to photograph than the black and white mature duck. This was taken in a different location as the male in photo 239. The surf was quite rough here today with a lot of wind.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

239
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 27, 2006
The Common Eider is the largest duck. This photo shows a mature male. I will also be posting an immature male and a female.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

238
Mt. Desert Island – Acadia National Park – Maine – December 27, 2006
After seeing this bird for the first time today, I have now seen all three of the scoters. We came out to this area of Maine twice. The first time it was calm and we stayed near the Bar Harbor marina. The day I took this photo it was very windy. This made it hard to photograph the birds as they were bobbing around so much. Bar Harbor is right next to Acadia National Park, which is on Mr. Desert Island. This photo was taken on the eastern side of the island. The above photo and the one below are not that great, but they do record the fact that I actually saw this species.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

237
Mt. Desert Island – Acadia National Park – Maine – December 27, 2006
This was the only photo I got of this species. We don’t have this bird where I live. You can only find it in the eastern USA.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

233 – 235
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
It isn’t very often that a duck swimming away from the camera makes for a very good photo. This particular shot is an exception to the rule in my humble opinion. And – more Long-tailed Duck shots. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

232
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
This is the female of this species. Remember I said I had several shots that I wanted to keep? Well, I think I’ll include several in this group.Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

231
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
I warned you. Here is another shot of a Long-tailed Duck and there’s a lot more where that came from! I’m trying to throw some of them away, but it is oh so hard.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

230
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
Get ready for a marathon. I fell in love with this duck. They are so beautiful, and the sound they make is sooooo cute. I have not seen this duck in south Puget Sound, so this was a real treat. This duck used to be called an Oldsquaw.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

228
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
Here are two more photos of this odd looking bird. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

227
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
It was quite a treat to see this water bird for the first time. We don’t have eiders on the west coast. However, it was a real challenge to photograph. It has that difficult black and white contrast issue and the ducks I saw never came in close to shore. Dispite all this, I gave it the old college try!

Nilon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

221
Bangor, Maine – December 19, 2006
I’m in Maine for Christmas vacation – Bangor area to be exact. I’m not exactly sure where I took this photo. I believe it is on a body of water near Orono that flows into the Penobscot River. My son-in-law and I found a park near the water and I was treated by this lifer (first time I’ve ever seen this species). Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

211
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – December 2, 2006
A very cold, foggy day. I went over to the boardwalk and found the Northern Pintails out at the end of the walkway. This was a lifer sighting.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

207
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
I really like these colorful ducks. Here is another one. These are all males.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

206
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
This Hooded Merganser has his hood flared up. There are many reason why he might do this, but I suspect that he may be aware of my presence and is in alert mode. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

205
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
Some Hooded Mergansers came in close to shore today and the water was calm with overcast skies. This is a male.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

203
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
This female Common Goldeneye swam by the front of the house and I took a quick photo. The water is very calm this morning.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

202
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
Here is another shot of the female from the 201 set.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

201
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
This American Wigeon female had just finished drinking freshwater at the spring in front of my neighbor’s house. The water is very calm at the moment. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

200
Mallard – Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
This Mallard male is sitting on my neighbor’s ski float. As you can see we had recently had a bit of snow. He looks quite a bit larger than when he’s in the water.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

198
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
This is a male Common Merganser. They sometimes swim past the house with their head under water. I think they are looking for stuff on the bottom. This species is a diving duck, so they are probably looking for fish. When they’re fishing it is hard to get a photo with their head up.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

185
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
Here are the last two Wigeon photos of the day.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 440mm, Manfrotto tripod

184
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
In this photo the female is swimming half under water checking for submerged mines. This preserves the male of this species! Just kidding.
Dabbler ducks like wigeons often swim and feed at the same time – sort of a scoop effect. It is sometimes difficult to get a photo of a duck when they’re doing this, as their head is under the water more than above.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 460mm, Manfrotto tripod

182
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
This scoter is either a 1st year male or a female. Notice the eye is dark instead of the bright color of the male. Also notice a brownish coloring with no white wing markings. Another difference is the white markings on the head.
I have an African Gray parrot that had dark eyes as a baby and after one year changed to bright yellow. Other parrots are the same, so if this is typical of other birds, this is probably a young bird.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 440mm, Manfrotto tripod

181
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
This scoter seems to have something in his mouth. It gives you a different perspective of his bill. I have a series of 4 photos that were taken with the Nikon D80. I previously posted some digiscoped scoters at this same location.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 420mm, Manfrotto tripod

176
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
Here is another photo of this unusual bird.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

175
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
Surf Scoters are fairly common. I often see them in Vaughn Bay and other Puget Sound locations. It wasn’t until I visited Port Orchard that I discovered the White-winged Scoter. You can’t always see the white on the wing, but in this photo you can clearly see it.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

171
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
On several occasions I’ve located one or two Eurasian Wigeons among a large group of American Wigeons. Finding them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To locate the male I just look for the distinctive red head. Characteristic behavior of Eurasians is similar to the Amerians.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

170
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
Ducks can be catagorized into dabblers and divers. Dabblers hunt for food near the surface of shallow water. AW’s also graze on land. AW’s don’t often upend like the two ducks shown in this photo. The water is obviously just a little too deep and something yummy must have been on the bottom. Two feeding methods are shown in this photo.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

169
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
I’ve noticed that American Wigeons often feed in grassy areas. This duck was one of many feeding in the grass next to Long Lake in the Port Orchard area. There were also many Canada Geese with them. There are several AW’s that feed on my neighbor’s lawn.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

168
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

167
Port Orchard, Washington – November 25, 2006
There is a beautiful drive that runs right along the water from Gorst to Port Orchard to Manchester State Park. There were hundreds of American Wigeons in the water near the road. This is a male. Second photo is the female
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

166
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 24, 2006
I love this bird. Its beauty is in its oddity. They very seldom come close to shore. I see them fairly often in the middle of the bay.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod
2nd bird – This photo is almost identical as the last one posted. I had to put them side-to-side to see a difference. Remember, my photo gallery is a running history of my bird photography. Therefore, I may include photos that I would not otherwise post on someone else’s blog or website.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

165
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 24, 2006
As you can see in the photo this was a rainy day. This photo could be a bit better. The tail is not in focus. Despite this, you have to admit that this is one beautiful bird! Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

156
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 18, 2006
Not a terrific photo, but good for showing the difference between the male and female of this species. The male has the green head.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm. Manfrotto tripod

155
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 18, 2006
I took several Northern Shoveler photos using my digiscope last week. Here is one with the DSLR. I had to max out the zoom on this one.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, Manfrotto tripod

151
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 18, 2006
One of these days I’m going to get an excellent photo of this bird. I’m not there yet, but my day will come. I’ve just not been fortunate with a good combination of weather, light, and location.
Nikon D80, Tamrom 200-500 zoom at 360mm, Manfrotto tripod

150
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 18, 2006
Here is the second domestic goose I found at Wapato Park today. He certainly is a handsome fellow!
Nikon D80, Tamron 200 – 500 zoom at 500, Manfrotto tripod

149
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 18, 2006
There were two domestic geese at Wapato today. I’m not up on my ID of domestic birds, so I don’t know what kind of goose this is.
I am practicing use of my new D80 camera. I thought this portrait shot came out nicely.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500, Manfroto tripod

146
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

145
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
There were several Common Mergansers on the lake today. Unfortunately, they never came close to shore and the conditions were very windy. This was about as good as I could do under the conditions. This is a male.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

144
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

143
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
I had to wait for eons for these Ruddy Ducks to wake up from a nap. They had their heads tucked into their body and their tails sticking straight up to act like a sail in the windy conditions. They also stayed well to the middle of the lake. They finally woke up to feed and luckily they came closer to the edge of the lake.

Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

142
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
This Ring-necked Duck was just one of many species I saw on the lake today. It was very rough due to wind, so photography was not easy.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

141
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Here are two compositions of the same photo – one horizontally cropped and the other vertically. There is often much talk about how photographers overlook the vertical format, and yet most magazine covers are in this format. What do you think?
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

140
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Darn these Northern Shovelers. Even though they wouldn’t come up close, the light was good and the digiscope rig worked its magic. Here is another photo of a male. There were several pairs of ducks out on the pond, so these photos may or may not be the same ducks as previously posted. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

139
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Ma and Pa Shoveler are out for a swim. The bills on these ducks are giganenormous.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

138
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
There are actually 2 bodies of water at Wapato. The larger
lake and a back pond. There were several Northern Shovelers on the back pond today. It was a very windy day, but the back pond is a bit more sheltered and made for better photo conditions.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

127
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
This species visits Vaughn Bay quite often during this time of the year, but not in great numbers. Unfortunately, they seem to prefer deep water and shy away from the shoreline.

126
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
This is the female mate to the Mallard I posted a couple posts ago.
In this photo the female is getting out of the water to walk up to the fresh water spring.

125
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
This time of the year Mallards often stop at the underground spring in front of the neighbor’s house. It bubbles up on the beach. When the tide is right they can get some pretty fresh water, though if you drank it you would think it pretty salty. The point is, the spring helps create photo opportunities when birds stop by for a drink.

122
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
We’ll let the female go first this time. Did you know there is a duck called the Greater Scaup. It is very similar, but prefers salt water over fresh. The second 122 photo is a male.

121
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
This was the first time I had seen this duck. It was a real treat. Notice how much the bird looks like a Ring Necked Duck.

120
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
More ducks!

119
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
Capitol Lake was covered with ducks. This photo breaks the rules for good composition by placing the subjects in the center of the photo, but what you don’t realize is that there were eleven ducks in this photo. By using cropping and the clone tool in PS I was able to isolate this male & female. I could have taken it a step further & moved them to provide
better composition, but I got a little lazy.

When using Photoshop in this manner, the challenge is to get rid of parts of a photo (in this case other ducks) and not make the background look duplicated. With practice, it is amazing what you can do with digitized photos.

118
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
Buffleheads are the most challenging bird I’ve tried to photograph. The contrast between the black and the white is very difficult to capture.

117
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
Female American Wigeon – Boy, there were a lot of wigeons on the lake today.

116
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
Male and Female American Wigeon

114
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
This female was with the male I already posted. Again, the photo suffers from low light due to foggy conditions.

113
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
This was not a good photography day. Almost the entire day was terribly foggy. This made for low light conditions.
This duck is a male Hooded Merganser. I will also post a female. The photo suffers from low lighting, but the pose is great.

111
Capitol Lake – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
Olympia is the capital city of Washington State. In the middle of this small city is a lake that is full of ducks and other water birds in the fall and winter. We saw 100’s of American Wigeons today. The ducks are a little skiddish, so getting up close is not all that easy. The digiscoping system was a definite plus.

109
McLane Creek Nature Trail – Olympia, Washington – October 28, 2006
This habitat consists of a series of beaver ponds. We didn’t see a lot of birds here, but many nests with a promise of being a great spring birding location.

076
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – October 13, 2006
Mallards may be common ducks, but I just can’t overlook the beauty of this species.

073
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – October 13, 2006
What a beak! The Northern Shoveler is built perfectly for its method of feeding. As it swims through the water it wags its beak back and forth feeding on plant and animal matter. This duck is a female. The male is very colorful.

063
Fort Flagler State Park – Marrowstone Island, Washington – October 7, 2006
Yes, this is a Harlequin Duck. This is an immature male, I think. The females lack the bright colors of the male, but the juvenile males resemble the female. Because of the white developing on the face, I’m guessing that this is a young male. The duck has a brown piece of debris on its side.

062
Fort Flagler State Park – Marrowstone Island, Washington – October 7, 2006
For some reason I really had a hard time capturing this bird in a clear photo. This is about as good as I could get. We saw several Harlequins in this area.

039
Vaughn Bay – September 30, 2006
In front of my neighbor’s house is a fresh-water spring that comes out of the ground. During low tide, birds often stop by for a drink. The Canada Geese are regular visitors.

032
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – September 23, 2006
This female Mallard was taking a little afternoon rest. Birds often stand on one leg while resting. Why? To prove their superior mastery of balance. I don’t know.

023
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – September 23, 2006
This Wood Duck and his mate were in a little pond covered with duckweed on the Two Barns loop trail. Wood Ducks are so beautiful that I took many shots of these willing subjects. It was hard to narrow it down to the best ones. I ended up with 4 different photos that I just had to share.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod

022
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – September 23, 2006
This Wood Duck and his mate were in a little pond covered with duckweed on the Two Barns loop trail.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod

021
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – September 23, 2006
This Wood Duck and his mate were in a little pond covered with duckweed on the Two Barns loop trail.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod

020
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – September 23, 2006
This Wood Duck and his mate were in a little pond covered with duckweed on the Two Barns loop trail. You can see duckweed on his chest and feet. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod