Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bufflehead Drake

Attempting to get a good photograph of the Bufflehead Drake has proven to be quite a difficult task. The Buffleheads visit our area for only a few weeks each spring. I was surprised yesterday to find that they were still at the lake.

Although, these ducks are not overly wary, they are small and require getting quite close with my 100-400mm lens but what has caused the greatest difficulty is the contrast between the areas of white and iridescent black plumage made even more problematic with the bird’s eye being located in the black area.

Yesterday I was trolling along the shoreline near noon when I noticed a flock of Bufflehead hens with an immature drake and one mature drake resting in a small cove. Cranking in the lines I prepared to make an ultra-slow approach allowing the wind to drift me near the ducks. I was concerned that a couple kayaking behind me would spoil my plans but instead they held back and watched as I worked the birds.

Soon these colorful little diving ducks will be moving on to their nesting grounds but this time they have left me with an image that I will treasure.



Note: I also captured the new header image yesterday when an Osprey allowed me to approach its perch quite closely. I continued to fire the camera as the Osprey took to the air in the warm light of the early morning sun.


17 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Your new Header photo is simply amazing. Great job. I love the Bufflehead photo too. They're really quite pretty.

Chris said...

Hi Coy,
Well done mate, I heard it is not that easy to get them. You know what, there is a couple in Iceland. They arrived some months ago and never left. Unfortunately for me, they are on the other side of the country. I hope I will see them around Reykjavik soon. Your picture is really nice and gives me the need to see them.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Oh my goodness!That is a gorgeous shot.I have never seen the irridescence before.The Osprey is alo fantastic.
BLessings,Ruth

Kahshe Cottager said...

I am envious of this photo! I can not get near enough to these little ones to get any photos. I love watching them swim and dive .. just out of camera range .. from my deck! I think they will be heading north from here very soon. The loons and cormorants are back now - the loons' cries woke me this morning.

Oskar said...

I like his purple hat!

Abe Lincoln said...

It is a beautiful duck. I never get to see more than Mallards here. We have had a drake and hen walking around the neighborhood today. They stop, rest in the grass, have a look around and then move across the street and try out the neighbors on that side.

Shellmo said...

I am enjoying your bufflehead shot! Tried as I might this past week - I wasn't able to get a good one myself. They stop over in Michigan during migration too. Your new blog head photo is fierce and beautiful!

Meggie said...

The Bufflehead is a beauty, for sure, Salty. So glad the kayakers weren't in a big hurry. What a treasure of a shot!

Carletta said...

The color of the head is beautiful. I've never had the pleasure of seeing one of these.
You always have the most amazing images to share - including your header. Since I am partial to deer I love the one you caught jumping the fence - great catch!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I love the Osprey Coy. Great capture.

White, black and yellow are always difficult colors to capture. This drake is fantastic!!

Bradley Myers said...

Love the new header Coy, it has been a great spring of bird photography for you. I am glad the kayakers gave you the chance to get the photo.

Richard said...

Another perfect picture to add to your collection.

Steve B said...

Good job! These ducks are so small that you can fit them into your shirt pocket.

photowannabe said...

I love your new header Salty. Your patience paid off. Great shot of the Drake too. I really like all the pitures of wildlife that you share with us everyday.

fishing guy said...

Salty: We have these here and they stay far out in the lake and dive.

Leedra said...

Nice capture!

I also like the new header.

Leedra’s Photos For FunLeedra’s Greeting CardsPhotography By Leedra

imac said...

Great stuff Salty, really worked well and what a capture.