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April 30, 2011 / hhsiegrist

Small water birds (ducks and the likes)

A favourite location for wildlife photographers are the shores of lakes and ponds where they can observe and, hopefully, photograph birds and other animals. Some of the birds that are not too difficult to take pictures of are the smaller water birds like ducks. I don’t think there is anyone remotely interested in nature who has not been intrigued by the most common species, the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Males and females are strikingly different as it so often happens with birds. The males have to impress and the females to hide so that both have a chance to survive as a species.

Mallard drake

The female is less spectacular although at times it can show off, too:

But most of the time you find them in pairs, even in exceptional places as here in a public fountain in the centre of the city of Basel

But Mallards are not the only water bird species one runs into when photographing close to the water. Other species are the Goosander whom the Americans call Merganser (Mergus merganser). Here’s a male bird:

and his female who is much less colourful:

There’s also the Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

and the Common Coot (Fulica atra)

and many others, of course, some of them on my website The section of water birds is being completed all the time so come back frequently.

A technical note: many of these birds can be photographed using medium telephoto lenses as they are not shy at all. As usual, some food will attract them even more. Don’t hesitate to go out and try your luck.

Another tip: try to get as low as possible when taking your pictures. Eye level would be best, of course. If you detest crawling on your belly in a wet environment carry a sheet of solid plastic for insulation. A dustbin liner works very well for me.


One Comment

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  1. Rolf / Apr 30 2011 23:58

    Hallo Hans,
    Enten habe ich eigentlich noch nicht so oft fotografiert. Vielleicht weil man die bei uns gar nicht so oft sieht.
    Die Schönheit dieser Vögel zeigst Du hier ja wieder eindrucksvoll. Vielleicht sollte ich doch auch mal mein “luck” probieren und “tryen” so einen Vogel zu finden ;-)))
    Viele Grüße

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