Thursday, April 14, 2011
Northern shovelers are beautiful in any light, but especially when you catch the right reflection off of their iridescent feathers. The right mix of overcast light and head angle really helped to show off the colors of this drake.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
There is such a great duck diversity around here -- much more than I ever saw growing up on the East Coast, and its fascinating to observe how different they can be. One that has always stood out to me as among the most beautiful and most interesting is the northern shoveler. For my first few years of bird photography I really wanted to get some nice shots of these ducks, but getting close to one had always alluded me. However, after I finally made a few trips to the Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City last fall -- I have more shots than I know what to do with!
And while not nearly as stunning in coloration, the hens are still quite pretty.
Monday, February 8, 2010
A sequence of images from a few trips to the Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City last year. There's an area where the dowitchers like to congregate on an underwater ridge, and occasionally a larger bird will hang out there too. I enjoy seeing different species mixed together, and this provides a nice opportunity.
Dowitchers relaxing with an American Avocet:
With a Northern Shoveler, and their reflections:
And with a Marbled Godwit:
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. This is a special day to spend with our family and friends, and to reflect on the many joys that each of us have in our lives. I wish you all the very best!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I gambled with the forecast for an overcast sunrise on Sunday, and headed to the Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City to try for some new skimmer shots. Unfortunately, they weren't feeling too photogenic, and stayed on one of the interior islands during my visit. But I did have a chance to photograph the rest of the wonderful inhabitants of these ponds -- including this delightful black necked stilt. I always enjoy photographing these birds, as their contrasting plumage and elegant form makes for a great subject. And the rippled reflections were a nice bonus!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
American avocets are one of my favorite birds to watch and photograph. Their interesting feeding behavior of slicing their bill through the top layers of the sediment is quite entertaining! But what draws me in the most about them is their elegant form and beautiful plumage. While their summer colors are certainly much more striking, I think their winter look retains a subdued elegance.
Here's an extra shot I posted to Flickr over the summer of their wonderful breeding colors:
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I enjoy how an image can capture a moment that may have an entirely different feeling than what you perceive as you see it in real time. Here, this dowitcher was actively preening and doing his best to get that overly long bill to properly reach his front feathers. But when the shutter clicks, the scene is transformed into a very solitary moment. To me at least, it gives the feeling of silence and a quiet introspective, as if the dowitcher is taking a moment to relax, close his eyes, and just be.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Northern shovelers are one of my favorite ducks. I think they are strikingly beautiful -- from their exaggerated bills to their subtly bright colors. In this shot, I really like how the yellow of the eye stands out from that deep green head. Taken at the Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City a few weeks back.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
There were plenty of dowitchers (your guess is as good as mine for long-billed vs short-billed) lining the ponds along Radio Road. These are a beautiful medium-sized shorebird that I'm quite fond of, but haven't had a chance to photograph up close very often. Here, they seemed like they could care less about the flocks of bird-watchers milling around, and they happily went about their business.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I've been fascinated by these birds ever since I first saw them in a nature documentary (perhaps the fabulous "Life of Birds" with David Attenborough), and have been itching to get them in front of my lens ever since I started getting into bird photography. Their range is supposed to be just in Southern California, but for a long time I had seen posts of the colony of these guys that live down in Redwood City at the Radio Road Ponds. Unfortunately, it took me a few years to finally take a trip there.
This is a fantastic location for all kinds of water birds (more about the species I saw in future posts), and you could get close enough to do some nice photography too. While the fading light was nice while I was watching other birds, it just happened to stay foggy while I was near the skimmers -- but regardless, it was still a lot of fun to have them in front of the lens. They were mostly interested in napping and a little bit of preening, so a good reason to go back for more in the future.
You've gotta love those bright bills with that oversized underbite.