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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

Lesser Scaup (male)

Photo of the Week (March 27th, 2017)

(archive photos of the week here)

It's a "Photo of the week". Is it one of my favorites? No. Is it one of my best? Well, it's technically good, in that it's sharp and shows a lot of detail in the plumage.  But this was taken on a very gloomy day, on a very gloomy weekend, with lighting that doesn't exactly contribute to an outstanding photograph.  So why is this a "Photo of the Week"? Simple! When I took this on March 26th, 2017, it broke a VERY long photographic drought!  Winter is a tough time for bird photography to begin with in southeastern South Dakota, unless you like taking photos of Dark-eyed Juncos and the few other hardy souls that hang around for the winter.  The 2016-2017 winter was terrible overall for photos for me though, because 1) there weren't any of the "winter owls" around, like Northern Saw-whets, and 2) I didn't have a lot of photographic luck on my occasional trips to the central part of the state, where you normally can get some wonderful raptor photos in winter. 

That photo drought continued into the spring.  Despite massive numbers of waterfowl moving through in March, few were finding open water for the first half of the month, thanks to a cold snap that caused water bodies to refreeze.  On the weekend this was taken, the goose migration was largely done, but there were massive numbers of waterfowl in the western part of Minnehaha County.  This was taken from the permanent blind at Dewey Gevik Nature Area, a wonderful location to 1) see wild, skittish waterfowl at incredibly close range, and 2) break a long, frustrating photo slump!!

Lesser Scaup - Aythya affinis

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