Thursday, January 26, 2012
With their handsome plumage patterns, over-sized bills, green heads, and yellow eyes, Northern shovelers are my favorite duck species to watch and photograph. Their numbers increase each winter in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City was a great place to have a chance to get close to them. There are also many other duck and shorebird species to see there as well.
View more photos of northern shovelers and other duck species in my Ducks Gallery.
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, April 5, 2011
There's just something about northern shovelers that fascinates me, and it's always a pleasure when I get a chance to photograph one from up close. In most locations I've found them fairly skittish to approach, but after positioning myself along the edge of the water at Radio Road Ponds this one came quite close (in addition to others). In the shot below, he is motioning and vocalizing towards another duck that was in the area -- although I can't remember if it was a greeting towards a female or a less friendly call to a male rival.
Submitted to World Bird Wednesday -- follow the link to see the posts for this week!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Three poses of this handsome northern shoveler drake preening. There was plenty of posturing between males when a female would swim by, so I'm sure he wanted to look his best.
Preening shots can be really interesting since they show off the bird in a different light than just when it's posing, and for shovelers, it can really highlight the pretty colors they have on their wings. I liked how he had the tail feathers splayed out in the above shot, and his eye is just barely visible in the bottom one has he combs through his wing.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Northern shovelers are one of my favorite duck species, with their pretty coloration and that oversized bill. Radio Road Ponds in Redwood Shores is a great place to watch them in the winter. They tend to be skittish towards a human approaching the pond, but if you pick a spot and camp out there for a while, they'll eventually warm up to your presence and you can watch them at fairly close range. This particular male preened for quite a while and gave me a handful of chances to get some wing-flap shots.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Northern shovelers are one of my favorite ducks -- right up there with northern pintails. I think the males have really pretty coloration, and I just love that oversized bill. Here's a male and female in very late light at Radio Road Ponds in Redwood City.
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!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
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.