(Un)Common Goldeneyes

This gallery contains 4 photos. I’d been hoping that this single lady–aptly named for her glowing ember orbs–would return to the new Centennial Beach pond–and she did! Her curiosity got the better of her, and this time she swam even closer to my lens. She has an unusually light brown head — females of her kind usually have chocolate brown heads, and bills with black smudges on them. Photographed on February 17.

Common GoldeneyesThis lady was something of a lone regular at the pond for a week or two.
f/6.3 , 1/500, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, 500 mm, ISO 400

This juvenile Common Goldeneye drake was curious enough to swim closer to the shore than the rest of his small flock of six to check us out, and give me a few opportunities to capture detailed shots of his developing white patch behind his black beak, and his darkening head. Photographed on the south side of the Tsawwassen Ferry Causeway on February 20.

Common GoldeneyesHis white facepatch is coming in, but he still hasn’t got that iridescent dark green head.
f/6.3, 1/500, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, 500 mm, ISO 250

Unfortunately, I had less luck getting a closeup of the paparazzi-shyer adult males. The young are usually the bolder ones with smaller personal spaces. Photographed on the south side of the Tsawwassen Ferry Causeway on February 20.

Common GoldeneyesA long distance shot of an adult male Common Goldeneye giving a flap.
f/7.1, 1/500, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 500mm, ISO 250

This shot is one of two drakes who were taking “turns” folding their heads onto their backs for a couple of seconds, for the brown-headed female in the lower right corner (with a gull who happened to get into the same frame). What we’re seeing is courtship behaviour, although the feminine object of their affections is not paying attention to either suitor. Might as well make the fellows sweat a bit, eh? Photographed on the south side of the Tsawwassen Ferry Causeway on March 3.

Common GoldeneyesAn even longer distance shot of Common Goldeneye courtship, with a photobombing gull.
f/11, 1/1600, 150-500 mm telephoto lens, mm, ISO 1250

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29 thoughts on “(Un)Common Goldeneyes

  1. Wonderful photos! How fun to get to see them do that head dance. Hahaha – I just looked at what Nelson said and had to go back to the photo and yes! Totally see the rabbit ears. Very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Barrow’s Goldeneyes | W.H. SIM PHOTOGRAPHY

Your comments are like chocolate for my soul ... I can never get enough of them! Bonus brownie points for witty comments! I love a good turn of phrase. :)

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