A simple portrait of one of my favorite birds in the late light of winter.
A simple portrait of an old friend as he pauses for a moment while feeding in the lovely evening light at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
As I sat in the quiet on a cloudy Christmas morning at Horse Lake, a northern shoveler swam past, drinking as he went.
After circle feeding with a female for much of the afternoon, this male northern shoveler swam near my car at the end of the day, minutes before I left to make sure I was off the refuge before the gate closed. I hate leaving when the light and the subject are so beautiful.
The rain here in the Northwest is frequent during the cooler months but it’s usually more drizzle than downpour, yet it has absolutely poured at times this month. I love photographing in the rain and am always a little disappointed when there’s a good strong shower but nothing to shoot. Fortunately I was already watching a group of shovelers feeding in Long Lake when a sudden deluge of large raindrops pounded the surface of the water. The ducks of course are built for wet weather and fed unabated, and soon enough the rain softened in intensity.
A shoveler swims past late in the day on New Year’s Eve of 2014, meaning she likely survived into the new year. The little bullfrog below almost made it into the new year but an egret plucked it from the shadows shortly before sunset. The bullfrogs move pretty slowly in the cold of winter and if spotted are easy pickings for the egrets and herons and bitterns that patrol these shores.
A shoveler stretches early in the morning as a cold snap finally breaks and the ice covering the frozen ponds slowly begins to melt.
I love how shovelers often feed by spinning in circles, such as this female who had been swimming in a line with several others before taking a brief break to feed.
It was a mostly cloudy day but the sun peaked out early in the morning as I watched this shoveler feeding in Canvasback Lake but it ducked back behind the clouds not long after I took the picture and stayed there.
A male shoveler on a peaceful winter morning in the Pacific Northwest.