Cinnamon Teal in Tandem
I had never seen a cinnamon teal duck. I had heard that they were beautiful birds. My first sighting was last week at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Yes, they have eye-catching colors. I was very fortunate. Not only did I get to observe the ducks, but also photograph them as a pair.
My friend Bob and I had driven to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in Monte Vista, Colorado to photograph sandhill cranes. See my post on the sandhill cranes roosting. As we drove along the dirt road in the refuge looking for cranes, Bob spotted a wetland location that we thought would be an excellent morning, sunrise background. The sunrise would create a golden glow reflecting the rust colored vegetation in the water and provide an interesting backdrop for the ducks and geese that inhabited the waterway.
The next morning the golden colors appeared and I photographed this bufflehead duck:
As I walked along the dirt road looking for photo opportunities, my eyes caught a glimpse of movement to my left in a wetland area very close to the road. I had my canon 7D with the 100-400mm lens and I started to shoot at what appeared to be ducks swimming away from me (they saw me before I saw them). I walked faster and photographed faster as my excitement built. As I approached, the ducks flushed from their location and about a dozen (I had seen only four) flew off to into the distance. I did not know that they were cinnamon teals until the next day when I confirmed it with a bird expert friend of mine. I was thrilled! I had finally seen and photographed a cinnamon teal duck.
As one pair sprang from the water (they jump up as they takeoff), I was able to photograph the pair in perfect wing synchronization, showing their blue-green and white wing colors.
From a technical viewpoint, this image has a very busy background which overwhelms the subject of the photograph. While an in-camera blurred background would be best (background is very close to the ducks and included in the depth-of-field and therefore in-focus), a blurred background can be created with Photoshop.
Is it an improvement? What do you think?
~ by richardseeley on April 11, 2011.
Posted in Photo Adventures
Tags: "monte vista", adult, adventure, animal, bird, bufflehead, cinnamon, colorado, crane, drake, duck, family, female, flock, flush, flying, formation, hen, landscape, life, love, male, mate, national, nature, pair, refuge, san luis, sandhill, scenic, sunrise, synchronization, takeoff, tandem, teal, valley, vertebrate, water, wetland, wild, wildlife, wing