Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge

Gail and I went on a field trip today with our Winston-Salem Audubon birding group. We all drove about two hours south to the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge. It’s about two months too early to see the beautiful springtime migrants, but we did get a good look at a lot of water fowl. Here are a few pix I took of Hooded Merganser, the first is a female and the others male.

Leave me a comment
  • Comedy Plus February 19, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    How cool. I love that last shot the very best. Awesome. Birds are fun to watch. We watch them fish at our marina all the time. Very entertaining.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you both. :)

    • Ferd February 20, 2011 at 8:07 AM

      Thanks, Sandee!
      One week to go ’til your big trip!!! I’m excited for you! :-)

  • dawn February 19, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    The second shot skimming the water… awesome!

    • Ferd February 20, 2011 at 8:11 AM

      Hi, Dawn!!
      Glad to see you back around! I know you’ve been busy.
      I’m loving your new seabreezephotos dot com!! Beautiful work! :-)

  • finding pam February 20, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Those are some great shots of the ducks. Really good action shots. What settings did you use?

    • Ferd February 20, 2011 at 6:32 PM

      Thanks, Pam!
      I have a very good (not great) Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi, which can take large 12.2MP images that can later be cropped and still yield a good photo. I was using a medium telephoto EF 55-250 IS, set at it’s max closeup (I want a better telephoto!)
      When taking bird photos, I like to keep the aperture as open as I can (smallest f-stop) in order to blur the background. But when the bird is in flight, there is no time to play with exposure settings, so I use the automatic “Sports” setting. That will automatically choose the fastest speed for the ambient light, to minimize motion blur. For these pics: ISO 200, f6.3, 1/320.
      For the images I post, I frequently tweak them with my photo program, Apple’s Aperture.
      I hope you weren’t asking about the settings just to be nice. If you were, I’m sorry to bore you with all these details! :-)

  • Linda February 20, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    I love the shot where he’s dancing and the water is splashing behind him. I’m told by my own personal duck expert that the Mergansers visit northern Ohio late in the season. Someday I would love to get a shot as nice as that! : )

    • Ferd February 22, 2011 at 11:05 PM

      It’s a beautiful bird! It is so colorful, and the head shape is unique. I hope you get a chance to spot one and take a good picture!

  • sharkbytes February 21, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    That middle one is really outstanding.

    • Ferd February 22, 2011 at 10:59 PM

      Thanks, Joan!
      Having a beautiful subject makes it easy to take a good photo!

  • Elaine February 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Very nice Ferd! The bottom 2 are my favorites. Won’t be long till you’ll get shots of all the pretty spring birds.

    • Ferd February 25, 2011 at 9:00 PM

      We’re looking so forward to that!
      Gail and I have a Spring trip scheduled at the New River Gorge in W. VA in early May, to catch the huge number of migrants that they see there.

  • Jen February 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    The second one is amazing. I really wish you would stop showing these lovely outdoors scenes with no snow. Can’t you wait until the snow melts? Please?

    • Ferd February 25, 2011 at 10:37 PM

      Sorry about that, Jen. (not really)
      I’ll try to take a good picture of something cold to make you feel more at home!
      Hey, did I ever tell you I lived in Rochester, MN for three years? It was cold, but I loved my time in MN.

  • Junk Drawer Kathy February 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    First off, I don’t understand a word you said to Pam.

    Almost all our snow is gone and it’s going up to 55 this weekend. I’m feeling spring/summer right around the corner. Your photos helped put me there. Nice work. Oh, and Pee Dee? Love the name!

    • Ferd February 25, 2011 at 10:52 PM

      I was talking a special kind of nerd-talk to Pam. It’s considerably different than the nerd talk you talk at work. ;-)

      We’ll head back to Pee Dee later this spring. I wonder where they got that name?

      Enjoy the warmer weekend!