Hooded Mergansers

The forecast sunlight hadn’t even appeared by the time I reached Port Orchard on my Monday excursion, though it peeked through the clouds several times in the hour I was photographing there, which must account for some of the weird bluish-gray lighting in these shots. There were actually more birds at the Port Orchard Marina than I’ve seen so far this year, but I particularly focused on the Hooded Mergansers because it’s the first time I’ve seen more than a single pair there this year.

This pair greeted me as I entered the Marina.


At first I thought this bold male was by itself,


but before long this female emerged a short ways away with a shrimp in her mouth and hurried away,


though it was hard to tell if she was hurrying away from me or from the gull that flew down just as she emerged from the water.

Although I try not to disturb the birds I’m photographing, it’s hard not to be pleased when the bird you’re photographing doesn’t feel comfortable with all the attention and decides to leave


in a hurry


and not just diving and swimming away like most of them do when they feel threatened.