There were plenty of waterfowl at the refuge today, but 400mm proved to be too short to get excellent captures for most of them. I saw two Short-Eared Owls chasing each other around just after the sun set, making it impossible to get a photo. They flew right over my car.
Hooded Merganser (Lyphodytes cucullatus)
The sun was just over the horizon, providing perfect light. There were a number of Hoodies hanging out at the drainage pipe at the first turn. I captured this drake as he was swimming away from the pipe in order to get away from my car. These ducks are very skittish. Most waterfowl at the Refuge do not fear people in cars. Canon 50D, 400mm 5.6L, f/7.1 @ 1/250, ISO 400, -2/3 EV.
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
In contrast to the Hoodies, Northern Pintail will hang out very close to the road. I don't consider a photo of this duck to be a keeper unless the lighting has revealed the iridescent purple streak behind the bird's eye. Canon 50D, 400mm 5.6L, f/9 @ 1/1250, ISO 400, -2/3 EV.
Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens)
This photo required a lot of cloning as the closed aperture revealed the numerous dust spots on a sensor in need of a serious cleaning. Note the Northern Harrier flying in the background, which may be the reason why the flock took flight. Canon 50D, 400mm 5.6L, f/11 @ 1/1600, ISO 400, -2/3 EV.
Habitat Shot of Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
This raptor took a short break while on the hunt. Canon 50D, 400mm 5.6L, f/9 @ 1/1600, ISO 400, -2/3 EV.
The sunset was rather bland, so I did some experimenting with my 5D Mark II and 70-200mm 2.8L:
Sunset @ f/22 with Diffraction Halo
Sunset @ f/32
Northern Shoveler (numerous)
Northern Pintail (numerous)
Hooded Merganser (numerous)
Common Merganser (1 drake, 1 hen)
Canada Goose (abundant)
Snow Goose (abundant)
Northern Harrier (1 male, 1 female)
Red-Tailed Hawk (1)
Short-Eared Owl (2)