Long tailed duck, Svalbard

Long Tailed Duck on water, Svalbard.
Long Tailed Duck on water, Svalbard.

Well,  they didn’t spend too much time deciding what to call this species!     The photo should make the choice of name obvious.    This is another of the many bird photographs I took on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard just recently.    We were driving along when we noticed this bird floating along on a current alongside the road.   The pond it was in was partially frozen over with the bird in a relatively narrow channel between the ice and the road.  Driven by a current,  the wind,  and who knows maybe the feet were paddling unseen underneath as well,  the bird was going at quite a pace.

I jumped out of the car with the 500mm lens attached to the Canon 5D mark 2 and jogged along the road to try to get ahead of the bird to get a reasonably front on view of him as he floated by.    I got ahead of him, quickly got to the water’s edge,  got on my belly (on some rather sharp rocks…oh the discomfort!) and managed to get off about 3 or 4 frames as he went by.    Then clambered back to my feet,  jogged some more and repeated the exercise for another couple of frames.

As you might imagine with all that running around and the very brief moments I had with the bird actually in my viewfinder,  I was happy to get at least one or two usable images.   I think this is the pick of them.     Worth noting that for all my scampering around,  the bird was completely unconcerned,  probably bemused,  by my activities.  No birds,  nor photographers,  were hurt in this episode!     :-)

A busy June!

Just reviewing my blogging for June,  a total of 13 posts published,  and another half baked idea still in the pending folder,  all from the laptop on only semi reliable internet connections whilst running to catch planes, buses and making hotel and hire car bookings on the run.    Phew,  one of my busiest months blogging and travel wise in a long time.    I’m in danger of being exhausted,  to quote my all time favourite television character,  Maxwell Smart,   “and loving it!”

The month of July is shaping up as a busy one too!    I’m still in Norway and enjoying 24 hours a day sunlight!   :-) ~KD.