Red Breasted Mergansers In-Flight

A few months ago I was able to capture some images of male Red Breasted Mergansers in flight. Since I’ve been practicing social distancing diligently there’s been additional time to go through some older files over the past number of weeks as I’ve been spending more time in my home office.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1250, subject distance 75.8 metres

It is always a treat to photograph any bird taking flight from the surface of the water. I was fortunate to have a couple of opportunities to do so with Red Breasted Mergansers.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000, subject distance 51.8 metres

For several weeks in December there were large flocks of ducks near the lift bridge on Burlington Bay. Most of the birds were longtail ducks, but there were a few Red Breasted Mergansers mixed in with them from time to time.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000, subject distance 50 metres

It took some concentration to pick out the mergansers in flight. Some luck was also needed to locate birds that were not obscured by other waterfowl.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1250, subject distance 50 metres

Red Breasted Mergansers are fairly common in Southern Ontario. At this location they were outnumbered by the longtail ducks by a ratio of at least 100 to 1.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1250, subject distance 51.8 metres

I quite like the distinctive colouring of male Red Breasted Mergansers.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000, subject distance 56.1 metres

Most of my images were of individual Red Breasted Mergansers in-flight. I did have an opportunity to capture a small group of four birds flying together. Exercising some patience I was able to fill my frame with them and avoid wing or body clipping.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Most photographs were cropped to 3500 pixels on the long end, then resized for web use.

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