I would suppose our calendar looks a bit different than the calendar belonging to, well let's use the term, a normal person. While a normal persons calendar would highlight things like St Patricks Day, Halloween, Easter, Christmas and the like, ours would be slightly different and have odd dates and time periods marked. Important times on our calendar would be things like elk sheds, calves drop, new growth, start of the rut and last but not least, duck migration. Other dates might be fawns, velvet shedding and turkey poults. This is only to name a few. Strange maybe, but it's what we do.
The duck migration is something that we really look forward to. While the fall migration is very cool, our favorite is the spring migration. During the migration time period there's opportunities to photograph some awesome species of quackers. While most people think going to a movie is entertainment, our source of entertainment involves going from one body of water to another searching for ducks. Each year we set different goals for ourselves and challenge ourselves to get photographs of certain ducks. Our subject this year again would be the Hooded Merganser. Last year we had limited success getting good images so it was our hope that this year would yield better shots.
This year we located a spot that was absolutely loaded with Hoodies. To make it even sweeter there were large numbers of males as well as the females. Typically the male ducks are much more vibrant and colorful than the females. This is especially true with the Hooded Mergansers.
We are pleased to say that the fall migration was kind to us and we got some pretty good pics. Yes, we will continue to try for better images but for the most part we were pleased. Not only did we get some cooperation from the Hoodies but we also got some nice pics of other cool ducks such as Ruddy Ducks and Buffleheads.
Here's just a few shots from our many hours chasing ducks and freezing our butts off.
These are the elusive Hooded Mergansers. The males have the white crest on the sides of their heads. The females are rather dull in comparison. You will notice that the male on the right is sporting just a small crest while the other male is sporting a more expanded crest. In the pictures below you will see the males with the white crest fully expanded. This is done to impress the females. It is quite impressive when the crest is fully fanned out.
This male has the crest fully fanned out.
These images were taken late afternoon just as the sun was bidding another day farewell.
While not vibrantly colored, these Ruddy Ducks are still quite cool quackers!
This Mallard didn't seem to want it's picture taken.
This might be one of the exceptions to the rule that the male is always a cooler looking duck. We think that the female Bufflehead is more awesome looking that the male, hands down.
Love the water droplets as well as the way the tail feathers seem to be suspended on the waters surface. The blue sky was reflecting beautifully on the water this day.