Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Winged Migration! Blue-winged Teal

For a long time, I've been dreaming of photographing a flock of birds flying above water. The problem is finding a suitable object for my imagination. Small birds such as swallows or swifts are out of question because they are too small to focus and their flying pattern is way too random. Too many fruitless mornings made me feeling I need to find some larger birds. So I decide to focus on waterfowl. Most ducks and geese are gregarious. They gather at a big body of water such as lake or dam to roost and to forage. Another obstacle when finding a flock of ducks is they are too far from shore or edge of lake makes even more difficult to photograph them. Just like most wildlife photographers, my strategy is, to wait, no matter what it takes.


Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) Male (as shown in this photo) has a blueish gray head with a white crescent mark between eye and bill, sky-blue wing covers and a green speculum. Female is over all brown with no marking between eye and bill, but blue wing covers and a green speculum. Click image to enlarge

That day I brought myself a sandwich, 2 liters of water and some trail mix headed to my favorite birding hotspot. Located in Clayton County,  E. L. Huie water treatment facility is one of the top birding hot spots close to the metropolitan Atlanta. You will never get disappointed if you want to see some waterfowl. Actually, you might get surprised in any given day when you visit this area. Wintering waterfowl, herons, shorebirds gather here to roost and to prey. The wetland center is also a great birding spot for hawks, song birds, migratory warblers and even owls! E. L. Huie pond is an important stop for migratory birds. After patiently waited for few hours, I got what I really wanted. The best thing for me is that they are not Mallards or Canada Geese, they are Blue-winged Teals! Blue-winged Teal winters in the southeast states, central and northern America, migrate to North America and northeastern Canada during breeding season. They dabble into water to reach submerged vegetation. and often mix with other dabbling ducks and can be found in an open, calm water close to marshes or lake. I hope they have a safe journey to their nesting ground wherever that will be and I go on for my next journey, snapping Tree Swallow, that will be my next post! -- Happy Birding! -- Linda

2 comments:

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  1. Blue Winged Teals are a favorite of mine! I got a chance to get a real close look at some at the Heinz NWR in Philly! Great birds and so beautiful to photograph

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  2. Thanks Jesus! They are one of my favorite ducks! Have a wonderful weekend ;)

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