Sunday, April 13, 2008

Racing Mergansers


With beaks pointed straight ahead, crest laid back, eyes squinted and wings flapping these mergansers remind me of racing greyhounds.


While pursuing waterfowl with my boat, the closest shots are always at take-off. As I slowly approach (the slower the better) the birds first begin to show signs of nervousness. As the distance narrows they begin to maneuver for escape. Some species allow me to approach within range while others flush at a considerable distance.
These mergansers decided enough was enough at about thirty yards.

When shooting these sequences I make my camera setting during the approach. As the birds begin to show signs of nervousness I begin framing and firing rapidly until they have flown out of sight or range. Each encounter leaves me wondering if I have captured anything worthwhile until I can review the images on my computer. Some of these encounters leave me with nothing but motion-blurred or out-of-focus images but enough do work to keep enticing me back for another round until the spring waterfowl migrations have passed by.

10 comments:

andrée said...

I notice that the mergansers, like the mallard, have closed their eyes. now it could have been mid-blink in both photos, but that is pretty coincidental. i love how they flatten their crests. They are all girls! i wonder why they weren't on dates when you were there. Your merganser photo is so much better than mine. I had to use the zoom. when the weather clears (snow today), i'm going to walk across the road and see if they let me near. i doubt they will, but i'll try. if nothing else, they can get used to me being around.

ASH's Eye said...

This almost looks like time-lapse photography. Cool! I'm amazed at how many different ducks you are seeing out on your boat expeditions.

Meggie said...

I know what you mean about not knowing if any of your photos are worthwhile until you see them on the computer. Getting all the settings and conditions set for a perfect shot can be so frustrating.

oldmanlincoln said...

I like this photo. It is amazing to see them doing this and all the noise.

fishing guy said...

Salty: Do you use a contiuous shooting mod to get these great pictures. moving animals are so hard to get. this is a wonderful photo.

Stacey Huston said...

Great shot, and yes I think that is the way of wildlife photography. You always wonder if the shots turned out. That is why I LOVE digital. I just keep shooting as long as I can, and then home and process, Saves alot of $$ that way. :-)

Kittilicious said...

Incredible shot!

Salty said...

Fishing Guy,
I have not been using contiuous mode for these shots although I have considered it. Somehow that seem like giving up too much control but then again maybe I'll use it the next time.

Old Wom Tigley said...

This is such a great way to capture them.. I was out today with the camera and saw a Nuthatch... we don't see many where I live.. I fired off a few shots and realished I'd caught the Manual Focus botton... I could have thrown the camera up the woods... ha! I did get the chance a bit later to make amends but the distance was a bit much.. still I live and learn.

Rose said...

The title of this shot should be:
On your mark, get set, Go!

It is a great shot.