Ducks Geese & Swans 2009 - 2014

Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

1031
Carrie Blake Park, Sequim, Washington – December 16, 2011
Here is the second set of Wigeon photos. These are not quite as good as the first set, but still worthy of posting – I think. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/250 sec

1030
Carrie Blake Park, Sequim, Washington – December 16, 2011
I guess I got a little out of order and posted Dec 21 photos before these I took on Dec 16. No biggie. However, it is a big deal that I am very close to being finished with 2011 photos and moving to the new year. Yeah, I know it’s May. It was a lot of fun taking these photos of the American Wigeons that were at one of the ponds at Carrie Blake Park. I got so carried away I’ll have to post them in two sets. I then have one more photo to share and then that will wrap up 2011 photos. I think this first set came out pretty good. What do you think? Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/100 sec

1024
Port Orchard, Washington – December 4, 2011
Here are 3 photos I took on a windy day in Port Orchard. The birds were a bit far off for my lens. The first one is a Hooded Merganser. The second is a Red-breasted Merganser. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

996
Moss Landing, California – November 21, 2011
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Ruddy Duck here before. These two photos are heavily cropped because the duck wouldn’t get closer. Click on the photos to see a larger presentation. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec

922
Seacliff State Beach – Aptos, California – March 31, 2011
This female Surf Scoter was doing what Surf Scoters do best – feeding in the surf.
Nikon D80, Nikon 70-300 zoom at 300 mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/320 sec, handheld

901
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, WA – March 23, 2011
As you walk along the trail with the river on your left, you have farmland to the right. There are often Canada Geese in the fields. On this particular day I noticed one of the Canada Geese looking a bit different. Where is the black neck? What is this extended whiteness on the head? Then I noticed a Greater white-fronted Goose among the Canadas. Could this first photo be a hybrid? That would be my guess.

898
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, WA – March 23, 2011
This photo is too soft, but I liked the colors and it wasn’t such a great birding day at the wetlands. Theler is a hit or miss type of bird walk. Sometimes it’s fantastic, and at other times rather dead. It is a great walk even if there are not a lot of birds about, with excellent wetland scenery. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x wide angle eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, f/5.6, 1/210, ISO 50

895
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington – February 2, 2011
This duck was located in the pond right next to the visitor center. Nikon D80 with Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/100  at ISO 200. A tripod was used.

894
Port Orchard Waterfront – January 22, 2011
This is a series of three photos of this male duck. They are one of my favorite ducks to photograph – especially the male.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm. f6.3, 1/250, ISO 200

892
Port Orchard Waterfront – January 22, 2011
This is the female of this species. Photo was taken with my Nikon D80 and Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/320, ISO 200. I used a tripod to steady my heavy lens.

891
Port Orchard, Washington – January 22, 2011
This is a series of 4 photos taken of this species at dockside in Port Orchard. I like this location because the birds that come in this close are accustomed to humans and usually don’t mind an overzealous photographer. I wish that was the case with the older males of this species, but I have yet to see an older male that was not very skiddish. This is a young 1st winter male. Nikon D80 with Tamron 200-500 zoom at 360mm, tripod, f/6.0, 1/125, ISO 200

885
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – December 29, 2010
There were several Ring-necked Ducks swimming close in at the pond behind the visitor’s center. Both photos – Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/200, ISO 200

884
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – December 29, 2010
Last month I made my last bird walk for 2010. NNWR is going through some big changes. The area had been diked for a long time to allow for farming. Now it is being returned to more of its natural state. Raised wooden walkways and some new dike paths are being added. Water water everywhere is the biggest change. I miss seeing the many Northern Harriers that frequented the pastures, but I’m sure the water birds are happier. I’m seeing many more Bald Eagles as they sit in the surrounding trees watching their lunches. After duck hunting season, the new trails will open up to the area that is too close to the hunters along the creek. At first I thought they were destroying a great bird site, but I think things may be pretty good when things are finished. I guess I won’t know for sure until those new boardwalks open. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/200, ISO 200 This Eurasian Wigeon was among some Ring-necked Ducks in the pond behind the visitor’s center.

883
Montlake Fill, Seattle, Washington – November 3, 2010
f/6.3, 1/200, ISO 200, 460mm This is the last of my 2010 photos taken before Dec 1, 2010. Hopefully I’ll get out in December to shoot some ducks – photographically speaking. Shawn posted a couple of his photos of this species back on November 19th. Here are two birds, probably a mating pair. I took two of the female and two of the male. These weren’t the only two Northern Shovelers on the pond. I like the female photos best because it gives you a good look at that enormous schnozzle this species has – “Better to feed with my dear!” Notice the green coloring on the body of the male.  All photos were taken with my Nikon D80 and Tamron 200-500 zoom on a tripod.

882
Montlake Fill – Seattle, Washington – November 3, 2010
I don’t want to scare you or anything, but look at the date this photo was taken and the date it was posted. I think this is a new AKA Bird Nerd record for me. Shawn posts his photos rather quickly, but I am often months and even over a year behind. Now that I’m teaching part time, I have a little more time to spend processing photos. Shawn and the grandkids and I made a trip up to Seattle (up to 2 hour drive one way) to hike the Montlake Fill on the edge of Lake Washington and next to the University of Washington campus. Get this – we were hiking in short sleeves and sweating. NOVEMBER!!! What a day with temps well over 70 F. These are the only two digiscoped photos that came out. Even so, they are a little soft. Since it was a sunny day I was able to shoot at ISO 50. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x wide angle eyepiece, tripod, f/4.4, 1/160 sec, ISO 50

879
Titlow Beach – Tacoma, Washington – September 30, 2010
It’s hard to believe this birding and hiking area is right along the water in a residential section of the city. This isn’t the greatest photo as it is heavily cropped. It is always fun to find a Eurasian Wigeon among the American Wigeons that are often found in great numbers during the Fall and Winter here in the Northwest. I always scan the wigeons looking for that tell-tale red head. Update for this posting – Len Blumin from Birdspix pointed out that this bird is actually a hybrid – a mix between the Eurasian and American Wigeon. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, tripod, f/6.3, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

878
Titlow Beach – Tacoma, Washington – September 30, 2010
From Titlow Beach you can see the Tacoma narrow bridges. A great little restaurant is located right on the water – Steamers. I love their beer battered halibut and prawns. This Hooded Merganser was found in the same pond as the previous few photos. Remember, on a blog the latest postings are the first you’ll see, so I recommend that you scroll down to the bottom of the page (go to previous pages if needed) and work your way back up to the most recent posting. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zomm at 500mm, f/6.3, 1/100 sec, ISO 200, tripod

877
Titlow Beach – Tacoma, Washington – September 30, 2010
Titlow Beach is a pretty good birding site. There is quite a variety of habitats. You walk along the railroad tracks heading north until you get to a building and then you head into the woods on a trail or dirt road. The trails lead along the water. There are several, but they all head in the same general direction. You can keep your eye open for water birds and at the same time look for birds among the forested area. There are a lot of Madrona trees close to the water. Near a private boating club you cross over the railroad tracks on a bridge and walk up a road. At your first opportunity you can then head into a wooded area of mainly deciduous trees. Now you are on the east side of the railroad tracks. A fitness trail is located here. You are now heading south. After a while you come to a pond. There are two good sized ponds just before you get to the playground area and grassy area where people picnic. There is a community outdoor swimming pool close to this location. The next three photos were taken at the northern pond. I couldn’t get very close to the ducks, so this and the next two photos are heavily cropped. At the southern end of the pond I found the Mallards and got some closeups. This is not that difficult with park Mallards because they are often looking for a handout. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, tripod, f/6.3, 1/100, ISO 400

876
Titlow Beach – Tacoma, Washington – September 30, 2010
Here is a series of four Mallard photos. I am always impressed with the beautiful colors of the male of this species. Usually a greater percentage of my picture taking is of the male. This time, however, I think the female outshines the male. It could be that the male has ring around the collar guk or just that the female photos came out better. Regardless, my vote goes to the female this day. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 420mm, f/6.0, 1/125, ISO 400, tripod

873
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – January 26, 2010
Here is another digiscoped photo from Nisqually last January. It is not my best Bufflehead photo, but then it isn’t my worst either. :-) I didn’t mention in my Ring-necked Duck photo I just posted before this one – the ISO was 100. The P4 camera does well at ISO 50 or 100. Above that is too noisy. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED with 30x wide angle eyepiece, tripod, f/3.9, 1/140, ISO 100

872
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – January 26, 2010
I’m going backwards in time from my recent August postings to last January – about 10 months ago. I found these unprocessed photos in my Nikon P4 folder. That means this is a digiscoped photo. Any time I am forced to put away the Nikon D80 and pull out the digiscope rig you can count on distance being involved. Digiscoping is a hit or miss thing with me. I have a hard time seeing the monitor on the P4 so I just try to shoot a bunch of photos and hope something may be in focus. The upside on digiscoping is that those without the capability often do not get these photos because of the distance. And, I don’t bird with people who can afford prime lenses with mega reach, so if my son-in-law is shooting with his standard zoom with a 300 reach (it can’t take a doubler attachment) I can sometimes brag that I got some shots that he couldn’t. On the other hand, his VR capability and a steadier hand allows him the luxury of not having to lug around a tripod all the time to stabilize my heavy Tamron 200-500 zoom. By the time I get set up and scare the birds away he has already gotten some good photos. I have a few more digiscoped photos I’ll post after this one. Nikon P4, 82mm ED Nikon Fieldscope with a 30x wide angle eyepiece, Manfrotto composite tripod

861
Unknown Location October 27, 2010

846
Sequim, Washington – October 9, 2010
These swans winter in Sequim every year, but not always in the same fields. You have to look around for them. Sometimes they are close to the road and sometimes not. I couldn’t find this photo on my original blog – that makes three!

841
Carrie Blake Park – Sequim, Washington – November 3, 2009
On this particular day there were a lot of Gadwalls and Wigeons on this pond. This female had been feeding in the shallow water.

840
Carrie Blake Park – Sequim, Washington – November 3, 2009
This was taken when the Dilworths and Weigelts were house hunting over on the Olympic Peninsula. The house that Shawn and Malia purchased is in Sequim, and the birding is great in the area. This park is close to the Sequim house and has some very active ponds on the property. I’m sure you’ve been enjoying the many photos that Shawn and Malia have posted – many taken in the Sequim area.

837
Theyer Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – October 19, 2009
Again, it is not always about the bird, but the whole habitat setting.