Showing posts with label ducks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ducks. Show all posts

Monday, February 14, 2011

Snuggle up to your Sweetheart -- Happy Valentine's Day!

I figured the most appropriate thing to post for today is a pair of pintails. Here's a male and female snuggling up together on the water. Hope you all have a fun Valentine's!

Nothern pintail couple - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

This lucky duck has her choice of suitors, since all the drakes are lining up to impress her!

Pintail hen has choice of drakes - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Friday, February 11, 2011

Preening Northern Pintail

I love to photograph northern pintails, and I think the drake's can look especially stunning when they show off those patterns as they preen. So in honor of Valentine's Day coming up on Monday, here's a few shots of this handsome fella getting himself ready to impress the ladies.

Northern pintail drake in a tidal marsh
Northern pintail checking every last feather
Male northern pintail preening in a tidal marsh
Preening northern pintail - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Northern pintail drake at Bothin Marsh

Northern pintail drake - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

One of my favorite duck species to photograph, I think that northern pintails are just so beautiful. They have wonderful lines to their slender shape, and such great patterns in their plumage. Here's a shot of a drake swimming across the flooded marsh channel at low tide in Bothin Marsh.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shovelers at sunset

Sunset shovelers

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.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Northern Pintail Drake

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!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bufflehead taking flight

A short series of a male bufflehead taking flight in Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. It was a dreary morning with dark clouds and drizzle, so the shots didn't come out super sharp -- but I always like seeing a frozen moment of a birds footsteps on the water.

Takeoff in grayscale

Takeoff in grayscale

Takeoff in grayscale (1of2)

Takeoff in grayscale

Takeoff in grayscale (2of2)

Soaring away

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Northern Shoveler Pair

Shoveler Drake

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!

Shoveler drake with water droplets

And while not nearly as stunning in coloration, the hens are still quite pretty.
Shoveler Hen