Photographing Hooded Mergansers

Female Hooded MerganserFemale Hooded Merganser

We’ve been pretty busy since arriving at Tanglewood.  Both Chris & I are back into various activities both inside and outside of this gated community.  I’m back swimming laps 3-4 times a week in the morning and/or playing pickleball.  Chris has decided to try line dancing again and is doing very well.  She is also playing ladies pickleball with her Sweet Pickles group several times a week and has already gone for a supper date with the girls at Sun & Lakes.  Her quilting group is going again and she is hard at work on her Christmas projects as well as a big one for the new year.  Of course we are are also going to numerous happy hours in the neighbourhood.  In fact, we hosted an open house recently and had about 30 people over to tour the Bus and sit outside enjoying snacks and such brought over by all our friends.

Male Hooded MerganserMale Hooded Merganser

There is a small pond running behind the super sites here at Tanglewood and this year it is home to a number of male and female hooded mergansers.  The head on the male is very unusual in that the sides of the male bird are snow white and trimmed with black.  Usually the comb lays flat while the males are swimming but when grooming or attracting a mate, the comb often extends into the beautiful display seen in the above photo.  The female hooded merganser is not nearly as colourful as the male but the reddish brown crest on the top of the head is also very attractive.  I wandered over to the pond this afternoon for an hour or so with my 300mm lens and 2x extender mounted on my Canon 1DX on a monopod.  I sat on the edge of the pond in a nice shady spot photographing these guys for about an hour.  It’s my first time back at bird photography since our visit to RSPB Bempton in England in September.

Female Hooded Merganser Bathing