Saturday, January 15, 2011

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

I visited Dix Fish and Wildlife Management Area again today.  It was a sunny day when I arrived; by the time I hiked to my shooting area and set up my blind the sun had been completely obscured by a layer of endless clouds.  I walked all the way out to the end of the muddy dike where there was a break in the ice covering the Cohansey River.  My best shot of the day was of this common merganser in flight.  It's a shame there was no sun to illuminate its red and black eyes.

2010.01.15  Common Merganser
Canon 50D, 400 5.6L, f/7.1 @1/1600, ISO 400, EV -1/3.  50% Crop.

I also saw the following other species today: northern harrier; hooded merganser (drake and hen); bufflehead (drake); dunlin; various gulls; Canada goose; snow goose; great blue heron; and dozens of robins, blue jays, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds and sparrows.  As dusk approached, I heard the unmistakable sound of who...who...who coming from the woods.  A large owl shot out from the trees less than a minute later.  It was the first time I had seen an owl in flight and it was very impressive.  It was too quick (and too dark) to photograph, though.


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