Saturday, March 29, 2014

Water Birds

Since the ice has been thawing on the creek in our backyard, we have seen quite a bit of water birds lately.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past couple of weeks . . .

It's tricky to get a picture of hooded mergansers because they swim so quickly.  The mergansers also commonly dive underwater, coming up several feet away from where they started, which also makes it difficult to capture them on film.  In the picture below, the male wasn't moving as fast as the female, so he's more in focus.  The female is a mama on the move - she's always high-tailing it through the water. 
 My favorite is the male wood duck, with all of its colorful designs and patterns.
 This mama mallard was walking on the ice, looking for something to eat.  Julia really got a kick out of watching the ducks climbing onto the ice and then sliding back into the water.
 This daddy mallard found a shallow spot to hang out.
 And now for the grand finale. . . a great blue heron.  Evelyn spotted this guy flying over the cul de sac in front of our house.  She thought he was headed toward our creek, and she was right!  This heron hung out on a fallen branch in the creek for nearly 15 minutes before taking off.  Julia can't believe that great blue herons are a couple inches taller than she is - it really puts into perspective how big those birds are.