With the morning session under my belt and some renewed energy from the MOJO bar fellow photographers John Williams/Dave Hawkins gave me during a great chat at Cape Spear it was time to move on.
My target was Virgina Lake. The lake is location behind a Junior High School but it is tucked further enough away that it doesn't feel like your standing in a residential area. Up until this year I had only visited the lake once before and that was when a Great Egret was reported at the lake...well fast forward to this year at almost the same time and guess what has showed up...a Great Egret. The Egret has been very elusive and seems to be finding shelter up a narrow stream from the lake...but that wasn't my target.
I arrived at the lake at 1:00pm and made my way down the short trail to the waters edge. I brought some food along for the ducks in hopes to draw in any usual subjects. One of those subjects I was aware of and was really hoping to finally capture an image of him..A male Gadwall. I noticed him right away so I laid flat on my belly and grabbed this shot as he drifted along keeping its distance.
Laying on my stomach I decided to move myself slightly behind some tall dry grass in hopes this would make him feel comfortable enough to move closer. I began to throw feed out for the ducks and before long pretty much every domestic duck at the lake was around me...but then something grabbed my attention from across the lake..both individuals were very small..much smaller then the rest of the ducks...so I stayed very still and low as they made a quick and curious approach...but only to a certain distance then they zig zagged inch by inch closer...
A female Bufflehead and male Green Wing Teal...in my eyes it was a match made in heaven. Buffleheads are rarely ever seen on inland waters on the Avalon. There are reports of one seen once a year or once every two years usually at Quidi Vidi lake. The only place I have ever seen one is in Conception Bay and with their tiny size and distance from the shore there was no way of getting a decent image. Not this one..she was coming closer and closer.
I barely moved a muscle as this curious and beautiful duck tried to see what all the other ducks were feeding on...and continued to drift closer
With no interest in the food she decided to tuck herself in for a nap. So with some great images secured I shifted my attention over to the Teal. I've personally had no luck with this species as they are very skittish here on the island. There are a few locations where very small groups of them hang out but those locations are near to impossible to get a great photo of them in.
As the Bufflehead moved closer so did this guy
A feeling of joy came over me after securing great images of both birds and know seeing how comfortable they were around me..made me want to stand up and raise my wings in success...
lol sorry Hands in success.
By this point I was very happy that I had decided to make the trip over to the lake and boy was I glad I brought feed...in doing so I made these two curious enough to come in for a close look. Having feed in the vehicle is a most every time I head out now because you never know when it will come in handy.
Since my visit to the lake last Wednesday I made another quick trip to the lake over the weekend. There was no Bufflehead but the Male Green Winged Teal as become very tame and easily coming in for feed. Often coming so close the camera is unable to focus on him. The Gadwall was present as well and I was able to grab another few shots of him. Here are the best images from that short visit.
If there is anything at all you can take away from this post that would be getting low...as low as you possibly can. For this shot I did not use a tripod as I wanted the lens inches from the water to help give that soft look. It also paid off huge as I personally don't feel the Bufflehead would have come as close as she did nor felt as comfortable with my presence. Getting low is beneficial for both you and the birds :)