Quick Trip

One of my goals for this year is to improve on some of the pictures I’ve taken of various species.  Last week I took 3 days and ran around the State looking for some of the birds that I rarely if ever see in Palm Beach County.  As an example, take Ducks … during a normal Winter we don’t get enough species that are close enough to photograph, at least well, so the only solution is to go where they are in much greater abundance and much more available to photograph.  

My first stop on Tuesday the 8th was Vierra Wetlands.  I arrived very early as the sun was just getting up.  It was a beautiful clear/calm morning which was very conducive to photography.  Vierra Wetlands is a park where very few people walk.  Cars drive around a series of impoundments and the Wildlife becomes very acclimated to vehicles making a close approach possible.

I had read that there was a very cooperative Bufflehead Duck and how true this turned out to be.  What a wonderfully tough Species to photograph well.  The colors on his head are very similar to a Ruby-throated Hummingbird … the light has to hit it exactly right or all you see is Black.  I took many hundreds of photos and only a few show his iridescence well.

Bufflehead Duck

Bufflehead Duck

Bufflehead ... I have seen very, very few pictures of this guy out of the water so I was happy to get a brief opportunity while he preened.

Bufflehead … I have seen very, very few pictures of this guy out of the water so I was happy to get a brief opportunity while he preened.

Not only was this guy a great subject but he was hanging out with a group of Hooded Mergansers … another stunning subject.

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser -Female

Hooded Merganser … Female

There were so many wonderful opportunities.  As I was sitting waiting for the Ducks to swim into good shooting positions this nice Common Yellowthroat flew within a couple of feet and sang for me!

Common Yellowthroat ... Maybe the best I've got of this litlle guy!

Common Yellowthroat … Maybe the best I’ve got of this little guy!

One spectacle that I’ve seen before that continues to amaze every time I see it is when large groups of a species get together.  Swallows are notorious for being seen in huge groups and I was fortunate enough to witness a “Tornado” of Tree Swallows … way cool!

Tree Swallows ... They came right over me a couple of minutes later and it just is an awesome experience!

Tree Swallows … They came right over me a couple of minutes later and it just is an awesome experience!

I have so much more to share in the coming days and I trully want to thank each and everyone of you for visiting my blog.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!

  

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About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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8 Responses to Quick Trip

  1. Gillian says:

    Buffleheads are hard to photograph here in Ottawa, as they are always so far out on the water (I’ve never seen them on land). You’ve captured his colours beautifully!

  2. Vicki says:

    Great shots of the Bufflehead and the male Hooded Merganser.. 🙂

  3. Great shots Tom. I especially like the shot of the merganser!

  4. What a wonderful vision of that Bufflehead! It is the best!

  5. I always come to your blog expecting beautiful and unusual birds. Great shots. I especially liked the Bufflehead in and out of water. I love the iridescent colors on the head and neck.
    Betsy

  6. Terri Miller says:

    These are definitely some of your best photos and subjects honey – incredible photography – I love them all ( and you of course!).

  7. The Common Yellowthroat picture is especially awesome!

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  8. I am lucky to see those tiny Buffleheads throughout the winter months, they are so much fun to watch, especially their landing…..it looks they’re ‘skidding to a stop’ on the water. Your shots of him are outstanding! Great Merganser photos too!

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