Greater Scaup drake at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge

Greater Scaup drakeGreater Scaup drake – Nikon D810, f8, 1.500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

It was crisp, clear and very cold yesterday morning at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge where I saw a low of 8°F but it was great being back there. The Bear River had ice on it and so did many of the units on the auto tour route. I was hoping to see my first Bald Eagles or Tundra Swans of the winter season there but that did not happen. I did see loads of ducks.

This Greater Scaup drake is making the transition into his breeding plumage and was in among American Coots, a resting female scaup, Pied-Billed Grebes and a single Canvasback. It had warmed up to about 14°F by the time we found them and the coots were actively feeding. It is a challenge at time to isolate just one bird when they are grouped up like they were but in this image I like the out of focus grebe in the background.

Life is good.



  1. Humming Bird Lover November 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm


    Beautiful photo! Have a great day!

  2. Elephant's Child November 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Moving into breeding plumage at the start of winter? Ignorant question here. Is that usual? Glorious photos though – and I so envy you your cold and ice…

  3. Jolanta November 18, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Beautiful eye! Great photo 🙂

  4. SkyHawker4 November 18, 2014 at 8:57 am

    WOW! Simply beautiful!

  5. Stu November 18, 2014 at 7:32 am

    So much detail, I do not know how you manage to get such detail.. Marvelous Photo.

  6. Lois Bryan November 18, 2014 at 7:37 am

    he’s soooo cute … he looks like a stuffed animal!!! Great capture … just love that wonderful golden eye!!!

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