Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Northern Pintail Drake
I spent Sunday morning hiking around Tennessee Valley, hoping to have a chance to photography a bobcat or coyote. I did see a bobcat, although it was quite far away and in an unreachable meadow. The fog stayed around much heavier than the forecast called for, and I left the park with just a few shots on my memory card of some deer. On a whim, I decided to stop at Bothin Marsh (under the Highway 101 overpass, where it meets with CA-1) to look for birds. The light was awful, the fog was heavy, but the birds were there!
This is an awesome time of year to check out the marsh, which is a very heavily used stretch of Bay Trail, since the Northern Pintails are out in full force. They winter in this marsh, and on a previous visit here a polite birder that I chatted with there told me that it actually serves as a lek (ie, where the females pick a mate for the coming year). That certainly seems to be the case, since the males are constantly preening and trying to look their best, and very often a group of them will follow around a single female. So even with the poor light, I took a ton of shots of these elegant ducks, since its not often you get a chance to be so close to them!
Also, if you haven't heard, one of my images of two male tule elk fighting during the rut at Point Reyes is in the running for the Viewer's Choice award in the 2010 National Geographic photo contest. If you haven't already, I would really appreciate it if you follow this link to the NG site and rate my image as a 10! It's such an honor just to be mentioned in the same line as National Geographic, and its just so cool to have an image anywhere on their site! Thanks to everyone that voted for me yesterday -- a lot of votes came through for my image, and I'm potentially within range of the top spot with another strong turnout today! (Today, Dec. 15, is the last day to vote.)
Shared as part of the World Bird Wednesday meme -- follow this link to check out the other entries for the week!