Tim Boyer Photography

Small Groups, Cool Birds, Fun Locations

Bird Quest 2014 #4

Bird PhotographyTim Boyer

Santee Lakes on day three of the Southern California Bird Photography Workshop  I led on Janaury 9th (yes, I'm still catching up on posting) Warm weather and lot of ducks!  

Male Ring-necked Duck swimming towards us.
Male Ring-necked Duck swimming towards us.

The weird thing about Ring-necked Ducks is they should have been called "Ring-billed" Ducks.  The white ring on the bill is far more distinct for birders then the not so obvious ring of rusty feathers on the  neck.  In this image a little of the ring-neck can be seen.

Male American Wigeon
Male American Wigeon
Northern Pintail, male.
Northern Pintail, male.
Preening male Wood Duck.
Preening male Wood Duck.

Santee Lakes are the easiest place to photograph Wood Ducks, a little cracked corn and they love to have their picture taken.  It's possible to get really low and shoot eye level.

Male Northern Shoveler
Male Northern Shoveler
Resident Osprey
Resident Osprey

It's always fun to see an Osprey in the winter, I think this one is at Santee year around, but in the Pacific Northwest where I live, we don't have them very often in the  winter.

Female Great-tailed Grackle
Female Great-tailed Grackle

Last year I posted an image of the male Great-tailed Grackle, so here's the female.  I think I like the color tones of the  females brown feathers.

The local fishermen call this Great Blue Heron "Junior", his father didn't make it through last winter.
The local fishermen call this Great Blue Heron "Junior", his father didn't make it through last winter.
Not sure what these American Coots were fighting about, maybe early spring posturing.
Not sure what these American Coots were fighting about, maybe early spring posturing.

So, coots are in the rail family not the duck family.  We see them with ducks all the time, and the other rails (Sora, Virginia Rail) are so shy it's difficult to think of the ubiquitous, coot as anything other than a duck.

Winter plumage male Ruddy Duck.
Winter plumage male Ruddy Duck.

Good birding!