The American Widgeon

will always have a special place in my heart, together with the regular mallard. The first time I saw the widgeon in the pond, I thought it was some real exotic bird. I came home and wrote an excited email to a bird person here, so I had him excited too. Then I went back to the pond, with a different camera, found out that it was American Widgeon … not Eurasian, and that they are rather common here. They’re so cute, and I’m glad to see them back.

This isn’t a good photo in any way but I wanted to show the beautiful, green patch they have on their wing. It’s only visible in flight!

Looking back two years, I realise how much I’ve learnt about birds and waterfowl in particular since we came here. This is really a combination of the camera and the birds themselves. I like to be able to ID them when I take pictures. There are such great sources for bird-ID:ing online and best of all is the Flickr Bird-ID Help group. The people there are amazing.

Last night, I attended Gillian’s birthday party. To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a ‘people person’ compared to my younger years, so I felt a little hesitant but I really wanted to go. We were about ten people there, and most of us didn’t know one another [from the beginning]. What a great time I had!!! Such a friendly and totally mixed [age-wise, background…] group of people … Turned out many of them knew people in common — which usually happens in Saint John. Had so many real good laughs and afterwards I was really happy that I’d been invited!

Because of the perigee moon last night, I put the tripod in the trunk of the car before I left for the b/d party. I’d planned to go up on the hill where the Xerox building sits, but when I got out I saw the huge moon immediately and decided on a different location, closer to home. Went down Kitchener St. to the ‘back entrance’ to Fort Howe and set it up there. I could have gotten the city skyline are a foreground, which was what I was after, but I had so much trouble getting it rignt … must have been some type of haze that I couldn’t see … Finally my fingers were frozen solid, so I gave it up, hoping that I’d wake up really early this morning to see it set instead. Of course, I slept until 8AM. Guess I’ll just have to wait another nineteen years.

Here it just looks like the regular, full moon.

I came home and thawed out my fingers. It’s amazing how quickly they froze. I couldn’t do a thing … not change any settings on the camera or anything!!!

This bright and sunny Sunday is like an empty sheet of paper — we have no plans, but will probably go out on my continued quest for Signs of Spring, especially since today is FIRST OF SPRING!

Happy Spring, everyone! 🙂




6 thoughts on “The American Widgeon”

  1. Nice moon shot. We were cloudy with rain last nite. There was a short break in the clouds where we saw the moon, but it looked like any other full moon. Not larger or anything. Maybe it looked larger earlier or later but I was disappointed that it did not look different.

    I have studied the birds that are common here. I know quite a few. No one pays any attention to sparrows. But there are many different kinds of them. We have around 3 that are only here in the winter then gone. Have not seen any summer birds here yet and my winter birds remain. Will leave soon.

    1. I don't know, but I think the thing about the moon was to see it close to the horizon so that you get a sense of proportion. I was lucky enough to see that, but didn't get a good picture of it. I wanted it so much, but just couldn't get it right. Finally my fingers were just too stiff.

      I think I know the American Song Sparrow now. I was better at the little ones back home. Saw a grackle today.

  2. I love your photos of the ducks! I can see the green on this one's wing (it looks iridescent) – gorgeous.
    We have some wild ducks that come onto our property daily (we have a huge dam so that might be the attraction!), but I'm not sure what they are – probably your every day common duck. There are so many species, some of them quite similar in color and markings, so it can be difficult to tell what they are.
    They are amazing – we have watched different pairs raise their ducklings in the past year – I never knew how protective they can be with their young – or that the male and female stick together to raise them! I have a new appreciation of ducks since we lived here!
    When I get close enough to get a decent pic, I will post it so you can perhaps identify the species for me.

    1. Barb,
      Two years ago, the only one I knew was the mallard with its green head! 🙂

      Last autumn, I noticed that green on the wing, but I thought it was one of nature's glitches, or the result of a «mixed marriage» 🙂 Not so … they all have it, but it's very hidden.

      Hope you'll get some picture of them. Would be cool to see those Australian ducks!

  3. I haven't taken many photos of birds (too far away and hard to see), but for a while I was really interested in photographing — and identifying — wildflowers (they stay still). It can be difficult and frustrating to find the right name for each tiny flower I find, but I don't want to put it online if I don't know what it's called. I've taken some bug and butterfly shots as well, and have had some great help with identification from the folks at

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the party. 🙂

    I found it was really cold for taking moon photos on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Even bundled up and wearing gloves, I had to come inside to warm up after I'd been out for only 30 minutes, so if you didn't have gloves, you must have been frozen! I'm glad that I can manipulate almost all of my camera controls wearing gloves; they are a necessary piece of photo equipment here in Canada, imho!

    And, yes — happy spring!

    1. I didn't have gloves with me. It was so dark … I was on that entrance to Fort Howe from Kitchener St. Most controls I can find by heart but I should have had both gloves and a little flash-light. The more pictures I see online of that moon, the more let down I feel.

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