Expect the Unexpected

Although I go to places like Malheur National Wildlife Refuge expecting to see certain birds that I don’t see locally in the Puget Sound area, it’s always a thrill when I see something unexpected. I actually saw several unexpected birds the two days I was there, but I think this male Canvasback was a “lifer.”

I was totally frustrated trying to get the camera to focus because of the grass and reeds, so I was thrilled when it took off right in front of me.

I even managed to snap off more than one

shot while keeping it in focus and in the frame.

I’ll have to admit that when I originally saw this bird I thought it was a Redhead Duck because I couldn’t remember ever seeing a Canvasback before and the two look quite similar.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t much further up the road when I snapped this shot of what I thought was probably the same bird.

Comparing the two on the screen, it was clear that they definitely weren’t the same bird. It was the white back on the first duck that made me question my original identification. In the end, though, it was the shape of the head that convinced me that the first duck was a Canvasback and this second one is a Redhead, a bird I’ve only seen in Colorado before.

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