Duck Soup

When I head out to photograph birds, things don't always work out as planned. In fact, it rarely goes as planned, but that doesn't mean it's all for naught. Take this past weekend when I set out to photograph a Western Grebe that was reported near the harbour in Port Credit, Ontario along Lake Ontario. Western Grebe is not very common in this part of the country and I thought if I headed out reasonably early in the morning I might have a chance of capturing a nice photo if it happened to be near shore. I quickly spotted it upon my arrival using my scope and observed it for quite some time. Although views through the scope were good, capturing  anything other than a record ID shot was not possible on this occasion. I made a few photos of the Western Grebe but nothing worthy of showing here. I decided to check out Colonel Sam Smith Park in Toronto, which is only a few minutes away and also along Lake Ontario. Here there were several species of waterfowl that proved much more sociable (i.e., reasonable distance from the shoreline) than the Western Grebe, so I took advantage and made several images. The setting was mostly overcast, which I didn't mind at all, although it did limit both catchlight in the eye opportunities and showing off some of the iridescent colours that appear depending upon the light and the angle. I hope you'll agree with me when I say that just because the day is overcast doesn't mean you can't capture some nice photos.

JC Saddington _160326-0054-Edit_0.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

Both male (photo above) and female (photo below) Greater Scaup provided excellent looks.

JC Saddington _160326-0245-Edit_0.jpg
1/640, f/8.0, ISO 1000, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

JC Saddington _160326-0120-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

Paired up waterfowl like the two Gadwalls in the above photo were a common sight.

JC Saddington _160326-0147-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

I guess the two above are a little confused considering that they are different species. 

JC Saddington _160326-0171-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

Redheads are one of my favorite waterfowl species, although I don't often get to photograph them from up close.

JC Saddington _160326-0208-Edit_0.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

Another dapper duck is the male Long-tailed Duck like the one shown above, in my opinion. The female of that species as shown below looks much different.

JC Saddington _160326-0212-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

JC Saddington _160326-0311-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

All the male Common Goldeneyes were at a distance, which is why I didn't include any here but one female swam pretty close by.

JC Saddington _160326-0362-Edit_0.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

I've not had many close viewings of an American Wigeon from a photographic perspective. A slight break in the clouds permitting a few rays of sun to shine through while I photographed the male above was much appreciated.

JC Saddington _160326-0376-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

The large rock behind the Mallard above provided a nice background, in my opinion. 

JC Saddington _160326-0390-Edit.jpg
1/800, f/8.0, ISO 1250, Canon 1D X, Canon 800mm +1.4x III tc

I didn't pay close enough attention to my camera settings when I made the above photo of a male Bufflehead. As a result I blew out some of the whites; however, I include it here because I did capture some of iridescent colouring on the head and neck, which may be seen depending upon the angle of light.

 

New Gallery Photos Added                Gallery

Greater Scaup                                          Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

Gadwall                                                    Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

Red-breasted Merganser                         Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

Redhead                                                  Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

Long-tailed Duck                                     Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

Common Goldeneye                               Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

American Wigeon                                 Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

Mallard                                                     Ducks, Geese and Swans (Part 2)

 

Happy Birding,

Claude

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