Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Drake Is Found

I've been complaining in this blog about where have all the male Red-breasted Mergansers gone, last Saturday this beautiful drake completely shut my mouth up. I went to Rokushou-en without any thoughts. There were Osprey, Oriental Turtle-Dove, Great Crested Grebe, Daurian Redstart, Grey Herons, Great Cormorants and Blue Rockthrush as usual. Then I spotted this flock of merganser floating, diving far in the distant. I was already so happy to finally found the drake, although they were all too far away for me to get any shot with my 300mm lens. I waited and waited for hours as the sun slowly set. Finally my patience was paid when the birds slowy swam across the huge surface of water to the shore. The late afternoon light combining with rich indigo sea, I was able to get shots that won't make me beg for more. What's also amazing is that that day was the last day of plenty sunshine before Beppu has gone grey and snow.
The bird in the back is an eclipse male.

The drake flapping its wings against deep blue sea

An eclipse male on the right; note blackish facial pattern

Eclipse male(left), female(center), male(right)

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