Mallard beginning the molt

A Mallard entering the molt

Or at least, I think so. They start at the head, before they risk flightlessness, but I’m not sure what’s bleached the colour out of his beak. Here are some more pictures, playing with the reflection of the sky in the water. In this one, it’s possible to confuse them. Vancouver’s tendency toward overcast is …

Female Mallard

I don’t know, I just love this picture

I love the way the focus falls off so precipitously — her specula are crisp, her head’s in soft focus, the background’s a blur. This is another great thing about a long lens. It’s the same effect in this photo from Trout Lake: I know, I know, I should be focussed on the eye, but …

Female Mallard

Mallard Hens at the Gardens

The Sun Yat Sen Gardens really show the mallard hens off in the summer. The ponds are lined with clay to reflect the sky, and on a bright blue day the blue speculum just pops. Afoot, she’s nothing to sneeze at either:

Sparrow

Backyard Birding

A surprisingly confrontational sparrow. You can have a lot of fun with a long lens & a bag of birdseed. Most of the passerines I’ve photographed have been here, right outside my back window or here, on a feeder just above it. Those are a towhee & a red-breasted nuthatch, btw.

Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing

Dude is called the Common Bronzewing. I’m sure we’d be fonder of pigeons if this one were common around here. As it is, you want the bronzewing, head for Australia. Here’s his missus: