Saturday, March 05, 2011

And the Spring Migrations Begin..........

As winter recedes northward the spring migration of waterfowl follows.  Last weekend the wetland was covered in ice but now with the ice gone it is covered with migrating waterfowl.  What a difference one week can make!

Visiting the wetlands yesterday afternoon I was able to identify Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Hooded Mergansers, pictured above.  From this assortment this hoodie male was the only one that I was able to catch off guard long enough to get good photos. 

This was my first wildlife shoot with a new Canon 60D.  I have been using a 30D for the past 3 1/2 years.  With over 200,000 shutter cycles and digital technology moving forward rapidly I decided it was time for an upgrade.  The only disappointment with the 60D so far is actually my fault.  I didn't research it well enough to realize that it used a different remote release than did my 30D.  I consider a remote an essential part of my wildlife photography equipment as simply touching the camera while on a tripod will introduce camera shake which in turn will keep the image from being as sharp as it could be. 

As I crouched behind the camera totally wrapped in camouflage and hidden in the brush surrounding the water the clicking of the shutter was what gave me away.  Cocking his head sideways to get a better view the male hooded merganser soon decided that other parts of the marsh were less crowded and swam away. 

The spring waterfowl migration has become one of my most anticipated annual events, a season that I look forward to with great anticipation, the same anticipation that a child may anticipate Christmas or a hunter anticipate deer season.  Now that "my" season has begun the challenge will be to find enough time to photograph the beautiful travelers as they pass through.


  

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16 comments:

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Coy: What a great little bird.

Lois Evensen said...

Wow, what an elegant fellow. I'm sure you'll have a grand time with your new Canon.

Louise said...

I look forward to seeing all of your pictures. Since you're South of me, I figure that the migration should hit here in a few days.

Montanagirl said...

Lovely shots! I just bought a new Canon Rebel T2i. It's much lighter weight and smaller. I LOVE it! I've owned two other Rebels, but this one rocks. I thought about the 60D as well, but wanted to keep it small and light this time. I've been using a 40D for the past three years, but it's big, and it's heavy, and then with some of the lenses attached, it just got to be too much.

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Awesome photos of a beautiful bird. I had a few of these in the river by my house a month or so ago and they were head bobbing for the females.

Gary said...

Great that you're seeing spring we'll be a while yet. Good sequence Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

imac said...

What a beauty Coy, wonderful shots.

EG Wow said...

Beautiful shots! I think I need to use a remote release!

What lens did you use to take these photos? And how long did you have to hide before the hooded merganser got close enough for such great shots?

The lakes and ponds are still frozen here but not for long.

Coy said...

EG,
I used the Canon 100-400mm L for these shots. As for how long it took, I was there about three hours before this male came in. Time can really vary depending upon how active the birds are and whether or not I spook them getting set up. I have had hides where within a few minutes I had shooting and other times where I waited hours and never got one shot.

Thanks for asking

eileeninmd said...

Coy, fantastic shots of the Hooded Mergansers. They are beautiful ducks.

Kjell T. Evensen said...

Beautiful bird; beautiful shot.

JimB said...

Coy
Looks like the 60D is working well for you--nice shots of the hooded merganser.

Jim

Nikki-ann said...

Wonderful captures :)

John S. Mead said...

Nice work! I'm envious of the chance to shoot the mergansers. Congrats on the 60D I love my 50D and am sure you'll get great use from it!

Elaine said...

Your last few posts show the emergence of spring beautifully. The shots of this merganser are fantastic! Your photos are always wonderful, and getting a new camera can only enhance your skill. I have been thinking of upgrading my Rebal XT, but first I have to upgrade my computer to deal with my increasing number of photos, along with analyzing my workflow. I have been trying to stick my head in the sand but that hasn't helped, so I guess I have to get serious here.

HANNIBAL said...

Fantastic duck shots, especially the hoodie! I love woodies and hoodies, but I definately have better luck with woodies. Not good luck, just better luck. Great work Coy! Your hide must be pretty damn good!