Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WBW 13- The Hoodies-

On my last visit to Oak Grove Lake in Greer SC it was a snowy but sunny day and I saw this small group of Hooded Mergansers.  The lake is not too big but just big enough that my camera couldnt get a decent zoom on them as they tried very hard to stay clear of me...so this is what I was able to get of these beautiful waterfowl...
This is Oak Grove Lake:

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When I went to the East side they swam West, if I drove to the South side they flew North!  Im pretty sure they KNEW I was following them..and they did a really good job evading me.  When they were within range they dove under water only to pop back up many yards away from where I stood..meanwhile I got the floor mats of the car totally dirty with my in and out of the slush n mud driving from one side to the other-

--I like this shot because the Mallard got in there and you can see the size of the Hoodies-(Lophodytes cucullatus) they are kinda small.  Check out those HOODS- pretty cool right?

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I think at least one of these is actually a first yr male and not a female...you can barely see the light whisp of feather at the back of the eye...barely

This retreating shot is really awful but this Male (left)  had his Hood opened so you can see why its called a Hood-and the one on the right had his all slicked back--

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They have serrated bills and dive for food--sometimes they are confused with Buffleheads..But the sharp pointed beak is one sure way to know since buffleheads have a shorter rounded beak tip. 

I heavily cropped this out of one shot so you can get a little better look at the beautiful male....such a striking bird!

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And here they are moving to the other end of the lake...and I bid them farewell and gave up!!

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Wont you please visit all the WBW contributors to see other Birds of the World!  Click this link to get started-AND happy Birding!


  1. Beautiful images of some really lovely birds.

  2. That's being dedicated to getting the picture. Beautiful country and photos.

  3. Hi Dixxe. A very delightful species.
    I know the frustration - similar problem chasing our Goosanders over here. I'm sure they eyes in the back of their heads!

  4. Some birds are just camera shy, it's very frustrating for the photographer.

  5. What a chase you had.
    But you came away with some good pictures, and the water looks fine as well :-)

  6. Those are beautiful birds and your photos are great. I am sure that blue sky and water and white snow are common to bird watchers on your side of the world but to us out here they are exotic and fantastic.

  7. Excellent post!Not only did I enjoy the photos but learned about this cool bird! Hopefully one day I will be able to add it to my life list.

  8. Hi - I really like saw bill ducks - although they are a bit thin on the ground in Australia!

    Possibly a bit like Black-Shouldeed Kites in the USA.

    Thanks for dropping in on my blog.

    You may find my other (longer!) blog of interest too:
    Stewart M.

  9. I've never seen those ducks down here but, the ducks we do have? They do the same darn thing when I try to photograph them!

  10. Wonderful captures!

  11. its a hoodie week on WBW XIII

    Lovely bird to capture as you have

  12. They certainly gave you the run around Dixxe but you still got some great shots of a lovely and most striking bird!

  13. They're beautiful; I'd be happy to get shots like that...especially when they weren't in the mood to pose. You can really see the hood in that one picture. Thanks!

  14. Oh Dixxe, to what length will the smitten bird photographer go to get the shot? As you well know the first great task of the bird watcher/photographer is to make friends with frustration and the only way to do that is with a sense of humor. Thankfully in this case you brought home some great looks! ;-)WBW

  15. I know how frustrating it is to get a good picture. As soon as they see someone they turn tails and swim away. But you managed to get some lovely photos. The male is just gorgeous!

  16. Great shots- I caught a few doing head bobs a couple of weeks ago.

  17. nice ones. They are great birds. Always seem to flush so easily for me, glad they let you get some photos!

  18. I have to agree, those hoodies are pretty darn cool. Great shots.

  19. I love these birds. Only ever seen them in 'collections' here, but they are stunning.

  20. to bad those birds don´t come my way. They are so lovely. Thanks for sharing.


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