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He was standing on a bank of the marshes, his back turned to me, his face to the water. I stopped to take his picture, and as I aimed my camera at him, he turned around, a severe look on his face.

Great Blue Heron: "You there, keep quiet. Don't scare the fishes!"

Great Blue Heron: “You there, keep quiet. Don’t scare the fishes!”

So I drove on. The tide was falling, and water from the marshes was pouring out toward the ocean. At one of the outlets, I found a Hooded Merganser swimming by himself, coming very close to where I was, as if he had not noticed me. This was the closest I had ever been to these usually shy ducks.

Male Hooded Merganser.

Male Hooded Merganser.

Male Hooded Merganser.

Male Hooded Merganser.

Male Hooded Merganser, from the back.

Male Hooded Merganser, from the back.

Male Hooded Merganser stretching.

Male Hooded Merganser stretching.

Male Hooded Merganser.

Male Hooded Merganser.

There were female Hooded Mergansers in the vicinity, but they were paired with other males. None paid any attention to our handsome bachelor!

I moved on to another pond and saw a pair of Northern Pintails busy in their favorite pursuit: dabbling in shallow water to find plants and crustaceans to eat.

Northern Pintails.

Northern Pintails, male on left, female on right.

After a while, they paused and struck a classic pose, with water still dripping from the male’s bill.

Northern Pintails.

Northern Pintails.

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