Skunked! And the King Again

Thursday, my son and I travel to Newport New Hampshire hoping to see and photograph the great gray owl reported there. In Newport, we drove up, and down many of the back roads came across a small group who also was looking for the owl and had not found it, plus talking to locals who did give us an idea of where the owl was seen in previous days. Despite all that, skunked. Today makes three times being skunked try and see a great gray owl, twice a New Hampshire and a week in Alberta Canada. It is probably my fault this year since we did not go earlier in the month to find the owl.

Friday, we took my son down to the Cape Cod Canal to locate and photograph the king eider. The king eider, who we have named Houdini, was easy to find and shoot this day. On our previous visits, it has been bright sunny days, and the reflections and lighting helped hide the king eider. This day, it was brightly overcast with night’s diffuse light which allowed the colors of the king eider to stand out without being blown out. The temperature was in the 40s, but there was a brisk wind blowing down the canal that had the wind chill into the 20s. Even with gloves hands were getting cold. The only time we lost sight of the eider was when it drove for food. All the eiders were swimming in a round rectangle, coming down along the rocks, then churning out toward the middle of the canal to dive for food.

King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)

King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), Common Eider – Somateria mollissima

I like bright overcast days since once you have your settings on your camera set to neutral, everything else falls into place. Plus, less post processing is needed.

Finishing up at the canal, we traveled up to Jenny Pond in Plymouth and photograph some of the activity of the birds. Mama swan was still on her nest, a great blue heron was up in a tree across the pond preening, and buffleheads were chasing one another.

Red-breasted Merganser – Mergus serrator
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Bufflehead -Bucephala albeola

Finishing up at the canal, we traveled up to Jenny Pond in Plymouth and photograph some of the activity of the birds. Mama swan was still on her nest, a great blue heron was up in a tree across the pond preening, and buffleheads were chasing one another.

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