In Waterfowl & Shorebirds/ Wisconsin Wildlife

Ducks Rocks Rebar Oh My

Red-breasted Merganser taking to flight

Ducks Rocks Rebar Oh My

Say it quickly with me ducks, rocks, rebar oh my.  This week has been interesting to say the least. It started off traversing rocky shoreline, while photographing the diving ducks along the bay. Ended with a black eye and broken camera screens.


The week started out terrific. Each morning I’d fill my stainless steel tumbler full of coffee and head down to the bay and watch the fog lift. Usually within the first 45 minutes I was there. The fog provided me with cover.  It allowed my to pick a spot, set up and then sit silently. Waiting.

Here was the view each morning about 15-20 minutes after I arrived.  As soon as the sun came up, the fog dissipated.

Ducks in the thick fog
I have never personally had the pleasure of seeing the amount of ducks along this stretch of shoreline before. Maybe, they have been there all along, and this was the first time I took notice?

Male red-breasted merganser out looking for a mate


This male red-breasted merganser was out actively searching for a mate.

The light fog over the bay for the first thirty minutes while the sun was rising behind me, made for some terrific for lighting. The fog in back of the birds acted like a reflector, bouncing the sunlight back toward me. Creating a warm glow on the birds and a beautiful reflection in front of the birds.

Normally, when visiting an area there isn’t a good variety of birds to shoot. You end up shooting one or two types of birds. This week, that was not the case. Although, I wish the ducks would have been in closer to shore, it was nice to see the variety. Pictured above, the Greater Scaup; two male drakes and a female hen.

The males are black and white and the female is brown, with a ring around her bill.

Mr. and Mrs. Bufflehead even made an appearance this week.

Mr. and Mrs. Bufflehead even made an appearance this week.

Beautiful Morning
If you sit long enough the ducks will float past you. It is just a matter of how far they are out on the bay.

Female Gadwall

On one morning I looked over to my left after sitting quietly for 15 minutes waiting for the fog further out to lift and almost too close to focus the lens on was a female Gadwall cleaning her feathers in the rocks. When I turned to photograph her she ran for the water. Still close enough for me.

Male Red-breasted Merganser taking to flight

This is the last duck picture in the series . It is a male Red-breasted Merganser taking to flight. I love watching them run on top of the water just before lift off.

The wildlife this week was epic, but so were the mishaps. Never get comfortable. Comfortable leads to mistakes. My 6D needs all the screens replaced, due to a 5 or 6 foot tumble down the rocks that I easily traversed most of this week.

Camera took a digger with me

Besides the camera. I didn’t fair so well. Three weeks ago, we were playing a game of I Never. I said, I never had a black eye before. Let just say, NEVER say NEVER. I’m sporting one now, thanks to the same set of rocks and rebar that took out my camera.

AND, My poor husband! People look at me, and then give HIM a dirty look. If only they knew… 

Who says wildlife photography is safe?


I did get lucky this week as well. It wasn’t all bad luck. I was blessed that the rebar landed on the outside the eye and I photographed a snowy owl and barred owl within days of each other. 

Until next time. Wishing you SAFE travels my friend.

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