Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Colatteral Duckage

Female Hooded Merganser
Saturday I had a bit of daylight left as I was heading back up from the hospital in south Denver, so I swung by a hot spot that I had not visited previously, but that was teeming with avian variety in the midst of the city. That is the stretch of the South Platte River that runs between Evans and Florida, and borders a municipal golf course.

Male Hooded Merganser
It was late afternoon on a short day, so I parked on the west bank, and walked north in the direction of the current.

Male Ring-necked Duck
I had a target species in mind, one that had been reported and refound multiple times in this same stretch over the course of a week.

Male Gadwall
While I was scanning for the single target individual I was amazed at the diversity of waterfowl that I was seeing along the half-mile or so stretch of river.

Male Northern Shoveler
All of these species were on display, and were well lit by the low sun angle and a bit of filtering by the shoreline trees.

Male Green-winged Teal
I didn't see a single new species on my walk, but I have never had an opportunity to get quality looks at so many different birds in one session, and to walk away with quality photographs of the majority was a really nice bonus.

Male American Wigeon
Not a single one of these birds was my target, that one is coming up in a following post along with its more frequently seen relative.

Male Bufflehead
No, all these ducks, and mergansers were seen simply because I had the good 'mis'fortune to turn north from where I parked and not check the 2o yards south of my car to the bridge at Evans Ave. But that species, and its comparison with its more 'common' cousins will have to wait for all these fine looking individuals to enjoy their time in the sun.

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