I am in my continuing education mode in bird identification. As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is a bit of a ditch adjacent to a now defunct K-mart building. It usually has a bit of water in it from run-off, etc. On Christmas morning, as we happened to drive by, Ann and I spotted what at first we believed to be some Gadwalls. As I always due in these circumstances, I drove closer and got hold my camera that is always with me. In this case, I grabbed the Canon 7D with the 100-400mm lens attached. I was able to get several shots, using a smaller aperture for a better depth-of-field, to get all of the ducks in focus.
It wasn’t until I uploaded the images to my computer this morning that I realized that the birds weren’t Gadwalls. But, I really wasn’t sure still, what they were. After consulting my Stokes Field Guide to birds of North America, and my Sibley Guide to Birds, I was able to ascertain that they were juvenile Northern Pintails. They had the gray legs, dark gray bills and more rounded heads than Gadwalls.
So I am learning my lessons. I found that I shouldn’t be too quick to make identifications. Especially when it comes to waterfowl. (and Gadwalls). I do know that I have come a long way in the past four years, getting a little better with my IDs. I can now, at least, tell the difference between doves and sparrows. The sparrows are smaller, right??
So, anyway, I thought you would enjoy the photo. Click on it to see an enlargement.