Red-breasted Merganser and snowy reflections – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I know it is hard for some people to get excited about ducks and waterfowl but I really love seeing and photographing them. I spent the morning yesterday at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge hoping to see lots of ducks and swans. I did see the swans but they were too far away to photograph but they were close enough for me to enjoy hearing their calls reverberate over the marsh. I also saw ducks but they were also too far away and they weren’t in the high numbers I had anticipated seeing.
Near the auto tour route though I saw what appeared to be 250 to 300 Red-breasted Mergansers on the Bear River. I think it was the largest raft of Red-breasted Mergansers I have ever seen. Before I could even get my lens up and resting on my noodle and before I could even focus my camera the mergansers flushed and flew west and I didn’t get a single image of them that I was happy with. It is hunting season on the refuge which might be why the mergansers flushed so easily. I wish I had an image of them flying away to share but that just didn’t work out.
Perhaps this winter I will be able to get close enough to some mergansers to take high quality images of them but I have to say that large flock taking off yesterday from the Bear River is a visual memory I will enjoy for a long time to come. It isn’t always about the photos I take, it is also about the memories I create and being out in nature.
Life is good.
The Red-breasted Merganser image above was taken in November of 2010 at Farmington Bay WMA after a snow fall.