Nature clicks #25 - Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers

Wood Duck
Nikon D200, SIGMA 50-500 @ 420mm, 1/125s, f/6.3, -1/2 EV, ISO 100


Yesterday I promised that I would reveal my new discoveries from last Saturday in  the Green Island Wetlands. For the first time I saw a pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa). My "National Geographic - Complete Birds of North America" says, "Wood Ducks are usually found in heavily wooded swamps." You can tell by looking at my picture that there is some truth in that sentence ;-)  . It was extremely difficult to get the glass on those birds. To be honest, I was surprised that this shot of the male duck turned out ok. It would of course be nicer to have an unobstructed view, but at the other hand it really shows how good these Wood Ducks were hiding in their natural environment. I will never try to get a better picture if the well being of the animal is at stake. And these ducks were already quite nervous.


Hooded Mergansers
Nikon D200, SIGMA 50-500 @ 420mm, 1/400s, f/6.3, -1 EV, ISO 100


The second discovery was a pair of Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus). They were also very shy and it took me four carefully executed approaches to get this shot. The sharpness is not perfect and that sets the goal for another time. I had them earlier much closer but they were on the "wrong side" of the dam, means they were backlit.

The time was flying fast and the light became better with every minute. More to come...