Blackwater NWR Mergansers

On our visit to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, I was looking for some different photo subjects than the usual ones we see. I did find some Mergansers in different areas along the Wildlife Drive. The Featured Image is a Hooded Merganser. It was swimming in a small water channel under a bunch of trees so I hardly could make it out in the shadows. It was just one black blob moving in the water so I adjusted my exposure in the camera to +1 stop hoping that would be enough to get some detail. Then when working on the image in Adobe Camera Raw, adjust the shadows in the Raw file to bring out more detail in the shadows and reduce the noise in the image. So it seemed to work out ok. This was taken with a Canon R with a 150-600mm lens @ 600mm. Then near the end of the Wildlife Drive I found a pair (male & female) of Common Mergansers swimming in the channel.

Female & Male Common Mergansers, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm, @600mm, heavy crop to image

Common Merganser Starting Take Off At Brigantine

Here are some more images taken many years ago at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville New Jersey. I was surprised to see some Common Merganser Ducks back then, especially in December with snow. But they were fun to photograph, especially the Merganser’s interesting takeoff series. All were taken with a 400mm Canon DO lens.

Common_Merganser_in_Snow_v3_Brig_400mm_MG_3689 copyCommon_Merganser_v2_Brig_400mmDO_20D_Brig_MG_3676Common_Merganser_T_Off_v2_12_09_400mm_MG_3697 copy

Common Merganser Swim-By Panorama

Finally it is starting to get warmer here in the Northeast, and the local Wildlife Refuge is coming back to life. With the extremely cold weather in the Northeast, the lake had a very thick layer of ice over the Winter. This is the first year that I saw hundreds of dead sunfish and really large dead carp frozen in the water along the shorelines. The refuge years ago was a Celery Farm and after that they raised carp here. So to see hundreds of dead fish was stunning to see. As the ice started melting they attracted large flocks of Turkey Vultures and Gulls scavenging the fish out of the ice. There are a variety of ducks coming back and on this post I am showing some of the Common Mergansers. One of my favorite ducks just because they are pretty cool looking. They are diving ducks, so they are fun to watch feeding. These photos are 2 shot panoramas combined in Photoshop. I used a Canon EOS 1D MkIV with a Canon 400mm f/4 w/ a Canon 1.4X Series III teleconverter giving me a focal length w/crop factor, 35mm equivalent of 728mm.

_43G6956 merganser v6

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