Drake Redhead Close up – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
Things are pretty ducky around here lately. At Farmington Bay and Bear River MBR I am seeing all the ducks I normally see in winter but quite often I am unable to get close to them at those locations because it is hunting season and the ducks are warier and far more skittish than normal.
But closer to home I can photograph the ducks at a nearby by pond where they aren’t quite so wary. In fact some times they come up so close that I can’t focus on them. Granted, some of them have gotten used to the food that people handout to the ducks but some also come for the fish and other natural food sources too.
Early winter through spring is a good time to photograph Redheads close to where I live and it can also provide opportunities to get close ups of these males with their cinnamon colored heads, bright orange eyes and interesting tricolored bills.
Drake Redhead at Bear River MBR in spring – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, +-0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
After the hunting season is over I can usually get closer to the ducks at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge but not normally as close as I can get to them on the pond near where I live in Salt Lake County. Still, I love seeing all the ducks at the refuge. In the spring I see Redhead drakes courting the hens and chasing the other males around the water impoundments from the auto tour route.
This Redhead drake photographed at the refuge in his breeding plumage sure stood out well from the water that was reflecting the spring growth of rushes and phragmites.
Life is good. Or just ducky.