Bufflehead in the Rain


Senior Member
Thread starter #1
Drake bufflehead in the rain.

Y'all wouldn't believe what I had to do to get this shot...

Nikon D3, Nikkor 600 mm w/27.5 mm of extension tube, f/11, 1/250th second, ISO 360, tripod, cropped to about 60% of frame.

I have spent untotaled HOURS either in freezing cold water or burning up in waders in the heat trying to get decent duck shots. I've had ice forming around me and my gear. I've had water POUR over the top of my waders too often to recount when I forget and lean too far forward. I've put up with stinging spray on boat trips. I've dried out gear again and again. I've spent too much money on waterproof cases and wetland camo. I've come back from many trips with few (or NO) images.

Well for this shot. I used my NC Zoological society card to gain entry into Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park where they have one of the most extensive (if not THE most extensive) collections of waterfowl in the world. I went up the gravel path to the pond. Set my tripod up to where it would just shoot over the border grasses, and scooched right up to the fence where I could shoot through it and it wouldn't show up. Then I waited for the captive bird to swim into the spray from the aerating fountain so I could take a "rainy day" picture while staying perfectly dry...



Senior Member
Way to take one for the team!!
Ok, makes my duck shots look like garbage! Sweet, tryin to get some shots like this myself. My winter project. Very nice rip.


Shutter Mushin' Mod
that is a hoot rip !!! after all that, you deserve a shot like that !!!!
Well whatever you had to do, it was worth it because that's a beautiful shot. It's also my wife's favorite duck so you're on her good list too. :fine:


Senior Member
Fantastic image Rip! :cool:
Shots like this one make the rigors of any trip worth while...I'm sure.

On another note, did there happen to be any mandarin ducks at this park?


Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
W O W rip, real fine results for the efforts:clap:
Pure and simply beautiful!!!

Hey Jason, I have a buddy who raises Mandrians. I need to get some shots.
The only problem is they are in pens.


Senior Member
Thread starter #10
Thanks, y'all!

On another note, did there happen to be any mandarin ducks at this park?
There sure did have Mandarins, but I didn't get any keeper images of them. I tried to concentrate on North American species (and a couple of South American species that I have seen down there before).

They have over 170 species of mostly waterfowl! With over 1,000 individual birds! YIKES! Here is a map that when clicked upon will give you a list of birds they have from that region... http://www.shwpark.com/world_map.php
Amazing detail your efforts will not go unnoticed that is one of the best


Senior Member
David, get those mandarin shots if you can swing it...that would be sweet...love those birds!!

Rip, is this place open to the public? You stated that you used your NC Zoological society card to gain access?


Senior Member
Thread starter #14
Yep, it is open to the public - about 20 miles or so off of I-95 WAY up in North Carolina - I think it is $7 a day... http://www.shwpark.com/ 160+ species of waterfowl with over 1,000 individuals.