Mallard Drake Standing Guard

by Larry Jordan on November 27, 2012

Mallards (Anas platyrhynochos) photo by Larry Jordan

A simple photo of a pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynochos) taken near dusk at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. I wanted to see how my recently purchased Nikkor 200 – 400mm f/4G ED VR lens would handle the low light shots. This image was taken at f4, 1/50 and ISO 320 while mounted on my Groofwin Pod. The birds were in total shade, in the late afternoon, as they rested near the auto tour route at the refuge (click on photo for full sized image).

Even though Mallards are the most abundant duck species in North America they are beautiful and I usually can’t help but take a shot of them if they appear in a photogenic habitat.

Inspired by the incredible images taken by my friend Mia McPherson over at On The Wing Photography, and psychologically pushed by my experience with this lens when I rented it from, along with a 1.7 teleconverter last February, I decided to take the step up.

I have blind #2 reserved at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge this week so wish me luck. I look forward to some great images from this lens. My last trip to this blind I photographed some Black-necked Stilts!

While we’re on the subject of wildlife refuges, please take this time, if you haven’t already done so, to sign the petition for a new Wildlife Conservation Stamp to help out our national refuges. You might also want to read the previous post on the “Fiscal Cliff Dwellers” of the refuge system.

For more great bird photos, check out The Bird D’pot and Wild Bird Wednesday!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

TexWisGirl November 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

that’s a beautiful image, larry! wonderful!


Mick November 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Very impressive color and detail for a low light photo.


Carletta November 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Love this Larry!
A great wow factor in that reflection!


Stewart M November 28, 2012 at 12:28 am

This is a nice picture – and believe it or not I am about to purchase the same lens! ALthough I was going to get the 1.4 converter rather than the 1.7. But its a scary amount of money!

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW – Stewart M – Melbourne


Neil November 28, 2012 at 1:21 am

Beautiful clear shot the reflection is great.


Eileen November 28, 2012 at 2:24 am

I love your Mallard shot! Congrats on your new lens. Great post, Larry!


Pia, Sweden November 28, 2012 at 6:15 am

What a perfect duck photo! Marvelous!
The water is exactly like a mirror! Splendid!
Greetings Pia


Gail November 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

Oh, my. That is one beautiful photo. The reflection is superb! Good luck at blind #2!


Wally November 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

A wonderful image. Looks like the lens is a keeper. Still saving up for something similar. (But then I’ll have no excuse for my poor photos!) The Mallard is so photogenic, how could you pass it up? Glad you didn’t!


Red Nomad OZ November 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

They’re pesky non-natives downunder – but beautiful nonetheless!


Mary Howell Cromer November 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

Larry, congratulations on your new camera lens…yeah…fun~ The Mallard Ducks are lovely. Have a happy weekend~


I'd Rather B Birdin' [Anni] December 2, 2012 at 1:43 am

I would say the new camera worked wonders!!! Such a beautiful image, and fantastic colors!!! Excellent Larry. And I always LOVE reading what you do in your ‘reporting’. I also liked viewing your first photo as I opened your blog today—the lighting with that image is picture post card perfect [is is a junco or a phoebe?]

Thanks for linking up this week at the Bird D’Pot. Have a glorious week ahead!


Dave December 2, 2012 at 9:02 am

Smashing image, lovely detail and reflection


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