It was their rows orange legs that caught my eye as I was running past. I had to stop and snap them since it was a view of them I've never seen! The "seagull" in the middle of the picture also drew my attention.
Female Hooded Merganser:
Male Hooded Merganser:
Buffleheads (and apparently Hooded Mergansers! thanks Bennet for the correction) are so difficult to photograph! The contrast between the white and black, combined with the sunlight off the water seems to be more than the automatic settings on my camera can handle. Anyone have any tips?
And yes, thanks for the help in identifying this duck. I think I had seen buffleheads earlier when I first passed by the river (the white breast was very noticeable) so I just assumed these were too. That and I was so preoccupied with my 'mystery bird' I didn't even bother opening up my bird guide to that page in the diving ducks section. The bufflehead and Hooded Merganser are on the same page and the difference is very clear. Yet another clue should have been that my friend Dave mentions seeing these ducks and they should have been on my radar. But it's all part of the experience! I'm learning more and more each day.
This one came out really well I thought- it's neat how the water dripping of its beak was captured, and I like the contrast of the light off the ripples in the water.
Great Blue Heron:
My boyfriend spotted this guy whereas I just blasted past. Unfortunately there are all those sticks in the way, but I always hate disturbing them and didn't want to make him feel threatened enough to fly away. I'm always surprised how large they are up-close. After consulting my Sibley Guide I learned that they average 46" in height! Wow- 4'. That's huge to me (especially being just a little over 5' myself).