Greenhorn Reservoir Fowl

It was a beautiful afternoon on Saturday and Christian and Daniel were bugging me to take them to ride their bikes.  So Tyler and I took the opportunity to take some photographs out at Greenhorn park at the reservoir, while they road around the reservoir on the paved trail.


 It was about 2pm when we headed over to the park with the temperature in the low 40’s so not too bad, although after taking pictures for a couple of hours my fingers were still frozen.  This time of year with the sun so low in the sky 2-4pm is like 6-8pm in the summer time so the lighting was great casting a reddish tint to things.


 Once again I am not sure what some of these ducks and geese are so if you know leave me a comment so I can learn my ornithology.  I love the red eyes of this duck.



He has such an evil glare to him makes me wonder what he is thinking .  After much research by a coworker we have identified this as an american coot, not a duck, but rather in the crane family.

The sun was shining brightly and the waterfowl were moving from bright light into the shadows and back again.  Because of this I chose to use the aperture exposure setting on the camera with an ISO of 100, this way I could pick the aperture I wanted then let the camera adjust the shutter speed depending on the lighting condition.  Things looked good on the camera’s LCD, but as I reviewed the photographs when I returned home, I realized that sometimes the shutter was dropping to 1/160th of a sec.  This shutter speed was simply to slow to capture the moving birds without motion blur.

Next time I am out, I am going to try using an ISO of 200-400 to increase the sensor’s light sensitivity.  Then using the manual exposure setting on the camera I can hold the shutter speed above 1/800th.

Overall these birds were much easier to photograph then the raptures over at the Klamath Wildlife Refuge.  The came closer, especially as people fed them, and weren’t as wary of humans as the birds of prey.



Mallards have always been one of my favorite ducks with their iridescent head feathers that go from this green to a purple depending on the direction of the lighting.

There were 2 ducks here are 2 other species of ducks that I couldn’t name.  This red-headed one never came close enough for a good picture with my 120mm zoom, from looking on the internet I think it is a common merganser.  The white and black one also stayed away from the edges of the lake and the people feeding the ducks.










The canadian geese were great also.  You realize how large they are when they take flight.


It was interenting to see that the ducks have paired off for mating already.  Although in the back of my mind I am thinking that they choose a mate for life, if I am recalling correctly.


Here is the gallery of all of the “keepers” from the day.  As always thanks for reading and enjoying the photographs.  Please feel free to comment and critique!








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  1. Nice shots Jason. The red headed bird is a Merganser and the black and white one in flight is a bufflehead. You are correct on the black waterfowl – a coot. Keep shooting my friend!

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