I was at Carburn Park for Paddlefest and had the opportunity to take my family for a trip around the pond in a canoe. The funny thing about being on the water is that swimming birds tend to think you’re one of them and they ignore you. Maybe not completely, but they certainly allow you to get much closer than if you were shore. I find this phenomenon all the time and I’ve made some of my best images of birds from a canoe.
Here are a couple of images of waterfowl that I made while toodling around the lake with my family in the Canoe with me. The first is a beautiful Red-necked Grebe. I’ve made lots of images of Grebes in the past, but I’ve rarely been as close as I got to this one. It’s so much easier to make great images when you get close! The second image below is a pair of American Wigeons launching out of the pond. They were pretty comfortable with us as we got closer and closer, but I guess we went a little bit too far and the they took off! I love the water droplets falling down off them as the fly.
I love Carburn Park and I’m always amazed by the things you can see there. Grebes are actually quite common there at certain times of year, but it’s surprisingly difficult to get one to pose for a picture while the light is good enough to make something decent out of it. I went back several times after I found this one as it was quite obliging!
These beautiful birds pass through the prairies during their spring migration to their breeding grounds in the far north. They are one of my favorite birds to look at, but unfortunately they don’t seem to like me very much. This image shows the typical reaction that I get whenever I come across them. Actually I don’t think it’s just me; they really seem to be very skittish and they tend to spook very easily. And I also happen to really like this painterly image of a Pintail in flight. The golden evening light on the slough grasses in the background really make it pop!
Here are a couple of images of Pintails swimming in a slough. This was one of the very few occasions that I’ve been able to make nice images Pintails when they weren’t flying away from me!