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mcary

Female Goldeneye (pic included)

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Thought I would share a personal first. I was able to get close enough to a Goldeneye to capture a nice portrait. These birds seem to be unusually skiddish. The first sight of anyone and they usually get as far away as open water will allow. This image is actually better upsized, but had to keep it reasonable for posting purposes. Hope you enjoy.

goldeneyeld3.jpg

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Upon closer inspection, I think this may actually be a 1st year male. Any insights would be appreciated.

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I'm not sure on the ID, Michael, but it's a very nice composition. The intersection of two planes of the ice add a lot and put the bird in its winter environment, not an easy thing to do with a tight portrait of a duck in water at an angle that doesn't allow you much background.

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MM, I was about 15 yards away roughly. I'm not fantastic with guessing distances. The shot was taken at 340mm with my 100-400. Hopefully that gives you a better idea. I would have liked a lower angle for the shot, but the constraints of the situation didn't allow it.

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It's often impossible to get right down there on their level, isn't it? But you got a very good shot, particularly working with the limitations you had. I'd be proud if it was mine.

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That shot is awesome and I couldn't imagine it being any better from a different angle.

It looks like she/he is giving you the evil eye... one step closer and I'm flying! smile.gif

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Michael, You are right it is a 1st year male.

1. bill is solid black (hen would have a slight marbling of orange and yellow)

2. you can see white flecks on the cheak patck area.

3.basic head shape says male

and the scapular feathers (shoulder)have white tips and striping.

CONGRATS ITS A BOY grin.gif

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I dunno guys, I think that it is a female. Even a first year male would be darker than that by now. Males have a very black head and the females have more of a redhead. I guess we may never know for sure... confused.gif

Have a good one and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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To clear up confusion, I'll post an image that I took of a female in the same setting. The orange bill tip is very distinguishable and in my National Geographic birding guide book it shows first year males looking remarkably similar to females with two noteable exceptions - the male bill on the first year male is all black and the white patch near the bill is mottled and not clearly noticeable. If you look at the pic posted you can see both the black bill and the slightly mottled patch near the base of the bill. I will post the other pic tomorrow when I have the opportunity.

goldeneye2pc6.jpg

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I didn't know the difference myself until I looked it up and I had multiple photos to study to look for the minor differentiations. There's something new to learn everyday! This photo seems to make it more clear since there are adult males, juvenile males and females all in the same frame. I hope I'm not beating a dead horse here. As a teacher, I have a bad habit of presenting multiple examples.

goldeneyespo6.jpg

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Pretty shot, Michael. And sometimes a bit of repetition is a good thing. grin.gif

You going to get down there this weekend for some pics of ducks in the flying snow? Could be compelling, and you can always gin up that weather sleeve I showed you on short notice.

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I may have to Steve! Unfortunately, the mallards and black ducks are no longer in their convenient shooting location and I don't have any old camo to rig the sleeve. The goldeneyes are hard to sneak up on - they're ridiculously wary. On a bright note, I'm ordering the 17-40 L today. So I'm looking forward to that arriving. It was a tough choice between the 17-40 and the 100mm macro + the 430 EX flash.

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Cool beans on the 17-40L. You'll love it. Great landscape lens for a zoom. The 100 macro is next on my list, too, but there's a lot of close-up work you can do on plants and rocks and other stuff with the 17-40L because it focuses so close, and the wide angle allows some cool perspectives.

You can go to the store and buy a pair of pvc camo rain pants for under $20. If you do, and then cut off part of the leg for the sleeve, you can use the rest as a good little ground sheet to lay gear on or to lay over the top of gear when things are wet. grin.gif

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