Port Orchard marina continues to be my favorite local area to bird, though, I wouldn’t drive that far to bird without walking Theler Wetlands. However, for some reason it seems to be sunnier there than it is at Theler and I can often get much closer to the birds than I can at Theler.

Sometimes the birds also seem more photogenic, like this male Hooded Merganser I spotted even before I walked down the ramp into the marina.


It’s also one of the few places I have ever managed to get close to a male Red-Breasted Merganser.


In fact, this one surfaced just in front of me.

With the bright sunshine and my lens set at 1/1600 of a second, I was hoping to get a good shot of it when it took off, but it wasn’t to be. Instead of taking directly off, it dove and swam under the dock before emerging on the other side and taking off.


By the time I relocated it, it was a considerable distance away, and, as it turns out, 1600 of a second wasn’t a fast enough shutter speed to completely freeze the image.

It’s probably the best shot I’ve gotten this year, though, and incrementally better shots are all the inspiration I need to keep going back to get “that shot.” Besides, before long the Horned Grebes should be getting breeding colors and that inspires me no matter how many times I’ve seen it.