Common Merganser

A Not-so-Common Merganser

This cutie was hugging the shore today looking for something, or maybe just drying off in the sun. No sign of the drake. No, I really didn’t get that close — it’s a 300mm zoom. Eventually she headed out of range. Again the compression of perspective & shallow depth of field (well, it’s distortion really) …

Spring Sunshine at Burnaby Lake

Handsome, eh? He’s a green-winged teal drake. But the real highlight was the Wood Ducks. There’s an active nesting-box program for the wood ducks at Piper Spit, and plenty of ducks to show for it. They’re amazing-looking. The drake: and the hen: and again, from behind:

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:

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.