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Old Dec 28, 2004, 11:17 PM   #1
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Ok, now that I lured you in with the sleazy title, you can take a peek at a female bufflehead that was hanging around the ponds at my local golf course. This little lady (and I do mean little) was playing hard to get. If I got closer than 30-40 yards she was gone. She was continually diving under the water giving me only a few seconds to take any pictures upon locatingher when she popped back up.

I was somewhat satisfied with these handheld shots but I could never get enough bright light to get my shutter speeds up for the FL I was shooting at.

Here she is after she'd popped up... 1/160 @ f/5.6, 420mm (Canon 300/4 with 1.4x TC), ISO 800, cropped, curves, noise reduction, USM.


Here she is just starting to tip over to go back under the water... 1/200 @ f/5.6, 420mm, ISO 800, cropped, curves, noise reduction, USM.


And finally, this is usually what I saw of her...

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Old Dec 28, 2004, 11:33 PM   #2
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These arepretty nice shots of an extremely difficult to get close to bird, I like the middle one best because of the slightly veering expression on the little guy. I know from experience thatthis isone of the tougher waterfowl to approach, very wary. A thought: how excited are you when rushing about, Geoff? Since you just got your lens are you slightly more animated than usual? If so, that may be one reason you're having trouble getting a bit closer from time to time. The more unconcerned and natural Iappear outwardlypersonally (no matter how freaked I am inside)the closer I seem to be able to get to a bird. Love that last little tidbit to bring closure to a cute series.
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 11:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments, Norm.

I am pretty deliberate when trying to stalk these waterfowl. In this particular case, I definitely would have had more success in getting close if I'd just sat on the ground by the lake's edge and waited for her to come to me. If it weren't so late in the day with my light disappearing I probably would have done that. Another thing going against me was that golfers were constantly running by with their golf carts, constantly making her keep her distance. I did get lots of comments about my nice camera setup... :roll:

I couldn't keep myself from including that last shot - glad that you appreciated that!
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 12:13 AM   #4
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haha, geoff, gotta love it, a guy, walks from across a field scaring away 15 deer you spent 4 hours tracking to say "What are you shooting?"

lol

not bad not bad geoff a nice series! you gotta get some sun over there though!

Vito
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 12:20 AM   #5
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photosbyvito wrote:
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not bad not bad geoff a nice series! you gotta get some sun over there though!
Thanks, Vito. We had some sun today and yesterday but if you could send some (alot) more over from your neck of the woods I'd be real appreciative...
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 4:40 AM   #6
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Do Buffleheads have a thing about golf courses? There were a pair on a pond
in a golf course near my place. Unfortunately, it was a private club and
they really frown on outsiders stepping into their territory.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 5:31 PM   #7
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This is the only bufflehead that I've seen on this golf course that is local to me. I've never seen the male either, just this female. I wish there were more here as I love these little waterfowl!

Find yourself a public course and don't bother the golfers. Or, perhaps you could make an offer to the golf course manager - a framed picture from your efforts should he/she let you take photos on the course?
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