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Golden Light but no Goldeneye

The Common Goldeneye duck is a rare winter visitor to Central Florida.  One has visited Sanford several winters in a row.  Her favorite pond is just a few minutes from Rich’s favorite Indian food restaurant, so it’s easy to twist his arm into accompanying me to visit the bird.  Our last trip coincided with a beautiful afternoon and gorgeous golden light.  The only problem?  No goldeneye!  Still, I spent a fun thirty minutes photographing the other ducks on the pond.

Hooded Mergansers (Female on Left, Juvenile Male on Right)

Hooded Mergansers (Female on Left, Juvenile Male on Right)

These Hooded Mergansers sparkled in the evening light.  The one on the left is a female Hoodie, and the one on the right is a juvenile male.  A single adult male hoodie was fishing at the very back of the pond during my entire visit.  He wasn’t very photogenic.  But the juvenile male gave me a nice wing-flap…

Hooded Merganser Wing-Flap

Hooded Merganser Wing-Flap

I was loving the afternoon light.  The sun sparkled on the birds’ feathers, and the pond glowed golden.  Even the common little Pied-billed Grebes who floated in front of me were beautiful.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

My favorite subjects of the afternoon were the Lesser Scaups.  Two males and a female worked their way back and forth across the pond.  I love how the males’ black feathers look green in the sun:

Lesser Scaups

Lesser Scaups

The female scaup swam right at me.  Her brown feathers were so pretty in the golden light.  My tummy rumbled and we headed off for dinner.  Since we didn’t get the goldeneye, Rich agrees we’ll have to go back! ;-)

Lesser Scaup (Female)

Lesser Scaup (Female)

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