Today’s post is about our web-footed friends, the ducks, grebes, mergansers and loons. It is meant for visitors to simply enjoy the pictures, or in some cases ID the birds. In some respects, it is as much about the water as it is the birds.

One of the things that always drove me to photograph waterfowl of all kinds, is the compositional choices, and color variations that come with water. Water can have waves of uncountable different designs, or glass like finishes that can reflect everything from the rising sun, to deep blue skies, to the rust colored finish on old brick buildings. Oh yah, the birds ain’t bad either. Our job is just to compose the bird and the water as if they were one graphic.

Remember, no geese, shorebirds, gulls etc. Just the type of birds I mentioned in the first paragraph, and with one exception, only in or on the water. I did not go into my film images looking for pictures. I only used what digital files were available in 5 folders on one external hard drive. I did not attempt to find individual species. I merely searched for handy pictures of ducks and their close relatives.

In reality, very few of these birds actually quack, but I needed a title for the post.

Male Greater Scaup1aDSC_7361





Female Scaup


Male Northern Shoveler2a

2bcHorN1 039

2bdHorD 199


2beDucks 236

2eHShoveler 099

Female Northern Shoveler2eiHorN1 050b

Male Northern Pintails3aaHorD 153




3ceHorN1 119


3eHorN1 069

Male Redhead Ducks4aBP DSC_7206



Redhead couple4dHoriconb09 181

Female Gadwall5azzCopy of DinoANWR 115

Female Gadwall with ducklings5bArNatWR 049

Gadwall Ducklings5cHorD8002 019

Immature Female Gadwall at sunrise5fHorD 144

Not sure6aHorB 084

Male Mallards7aRHarbor2013 047

7bGeyeMall 169





Female Mallard and duckling7fDSC_4316

Male Blue-winged Teal8aDSC_6457

Make Green-winged Teal8bDSC_2574

Pied-billed Grebes, mature and immature9aHorD_125b

9bCopy of BPGrebe

9cHorD 127ABC

9dHorMGlory 091

9eGpondWhooper 012

Immature Eared Grebe10aGSDunesANWR 139

Western Grebe, winter plumage11aCopy of DSC_8606-01xxx

11bCopy of DSC_8712-01

11cCopy of DSC_8697-01

Horned Grebes, both winter and breeding plumage.12aHG DSC_0232


12cHGfox 023

12dHGfox 077

12eHGfox 156

12fHGr 011

12gHGr 041

12hHGr2 206


12iHGrebe1 016b

12jHGrebe1 095c

Horned Grebe and female Red-breasted Merganser13aHGfox 157blog

Common Merganser male14aMG 137

Common Merganser female15aKenoBirds 027

Red-breasted Merganser males16a

16bCopy of BPixRBM


16eRBMerg1 076b

16fRBMerg1 035

16fRBMerg2 187

16gRBMergD3 156

Red-breasted Merganser females17aDSC_0927

17bL2014 001


Hooded Merganser males18aNewSwan 178b

18BHeadsGullFish 100

18cHeadsGullFish 102

18dHeadsGullFish 085

18eeHoodies 003

Hooded Merganser females19aDSC_8397-01

19bRHarbor2013 211

Hooded Mergansers, male and female20aDSC_6332

White-winged Scoters, winter plumage21aCopy of 20DSC_8447



Common Loons22aLoon

22bCMeadows 110

22cCMeadows 085bxxx

Ruddy Duck males23aHoricon10 088bxxx

23bHoriconb09 172

Ruddy Duck females24aANatWRef 025


24cHorB 098b

Female Canvasback Duck25aCopy of Copy of DSC_1594bb

Male Buffleheads26aDSC_0241xxx


Female Buffleheads27aCopy of RBMergD3 185

27BHeadsGullFish 034xxx

Male Common Goldeneyes28aDSC_0329




28fCopy of DSC_4129

28gCopy of DSC_9889-01

28hKenDucks 127


First Winter Males29acCGE

Common Goldeneye females30aDSC_6322

30bKenDucks 110

30cRHarbor408 111

30dCopy of DSC_9865-01xxx

Male and female Goldeneye courtship31aDSC_0349

More Greater Scaup




50dCopy of DSC_6839









Freedom of Spirit

The images above are just a fraction of those that I have in my files, that fit the category of this post. Like any smart photographer, I made it a habit of understanding my subjects. Knowing when and where we can find what we want to photograph, profits us greatly as photographers. I knew where to find flowers and when they would bloom. I understood bird migration. When certain species would appear in certain “types” of habitat, and where I could find that habitat. I knew where the rising sun would appear at certain times of year, at locations near home. Having said all of that, a fair number of the pictures you see above, in fact a fair amount of all of the images I made over the years, were found while practicing the art of wandering.

I am not against new technology. GPS (hardly new any more) can be a life saver when you need to be some where, and it is important that you are not late. I have in fact, used GPS to find an address in the city of Milwaukee. It was quite handy. Just the same, I would never use GPS when I am immersed in the “art of wandering”. If I did, it would not be an art. Every trip I ever took, included a time to wander. It is a freeing of the human spirit, to roam where the wind (or road) takes you, and fill yourself with what you find. There are times in my travels, when I did not even look at a road map for three days. When I made pictures, I used technology, and my knowledge of that technology, to create both images of substance, and what some would call images of art. Just the same, there was a point with those images of art, when I freed myself from the technology, and just let my spirit guide me. The same is true with the art of wandering. Traveling from one place to another, is merely a function of necessity, when you know down to 10 feet, exactly where you are going…….at all times. GPS and even maps, serve to muzzle my spirit, when I am steeped in the art of movement…….from one place to another……wherever that destination is.

Just imagine, that you lived for the art of wandering. It was both in you, and of you, and then you lost it. If that were true, the last thing you would have wanted, is to have spent the past ten years of your life, knowing exactly where you were headed, and exactly what you would find. You might as well have lost your freedom and mobility, ten years before it actually happened.

Stay free. Use technology and safe travel when you need to, but set yourself free whenever possible. You do not need to know exactly where you are every minute of your life. You might be surprised at what waits for you over the next hill in the road, or bend in the trail.


Revelation 3-20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.   Jesus Christ


Thank you,                                                                                                                                           Wayne



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