Aerial Show

The tide was almost full on a sunny morning and the result was a chance to get some photos of ducks in flight. White-winged Scoters were flying out from the river and heading for the ocean in pairs or small groups and their flight path took them close to the shore where we stood. The sun was behind us so the lighting was good. It was a great show!

Scoters scrambling to take off, starting upriver into the wind and then looping back toward the ocean:

Meanwhile a harbor seal watched us while we watched the birds.

Once the Scoters looped around to head toward the river mouth, they would fly directly toward us and then close in front of us. I took a lot of shots and managed to get some sharp photos.

This photo of a male White-winged Scoter shows the eye (with the distinctive Nike Swoosh marking) and beak quite clearly.

Eiders were coming into the river mouth as the Scoters were heading out. That’s a male in the second picture landing near some Black Scoters that were already in the river.

This was such a fun morning. The confluence of activity, perspective and lighting was pure serendipity.

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