Sunday, 30 December 2012

Goodbye 2012

It was a wonderful year for me. Absolute highlight was my trip to Lapland early March with a fabulous Northern Light show, and close encounters with some illusive taiga birds, in particular Willow Grouse (Lagopus lagopus/Moerassneeuwhoen) and Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula/Sperweruil).
The last week of this year was rainy, stormy and grey. Rivers are flooded, the land is saturated with water. Some impressions from the land where I was born. Clouds, wind and water worked together well at sunset of December 29th and sunrise of December 30th.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 20mm; ISO-50, f18, 2.5s; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 19mm; ISO-400, f16, 1/8s; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Tawny is home

I checked out this tree several times this year. But finally, as 2012 fades away (hey, we still exist after the 21st of December!), this Tawny Owl (Strix aluco/Bosuil) is home. What a beauty, look at these eyes, dark as coal! At this time of the year they already start to display and call their shivering "hoooouh ... ho ho ho hoooouh" notes when darkness sets in.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4.0; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/100s; tripod.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Swans of Avalon

After a cold night (-7°C), the water in the local stream gets quite steamy.
A philosophical quote for today (from Kant, sent to me by my daughter Evelien): “As far as beauty is concerned understanding is irrelevant, instead it is all about a gift provided by nature.”
In Dutch: “In de schoonheid gaat het niet om een begrip, maar om deze gunst die de natuur ons verleent.”

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 300mm/f4.0; ISO-200, f9, 1/2500s; -0.7 stop; tripod.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Winter has really begun!

The first snow was predicted and snow was what we got. I teamed up again with Marijn Heuts, and together we had a very pleasant day in the field. We first tried close-ups, abstracts, and flash photography in the woodland south of Eindhoven. See below for a Larch (Larix sp/Lariks) tree with snow-covered branches. Later on the day, we spent some quality time with a large number of Wood Pigeons (Columba palumbus/Houtduif), Stock Pigeons (Columba oenas/Holenduif), Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs/Vink), and Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla/Keep) that foraged on the last edible remains of what once was a cornfield.
All in all, we managed to sort of control the restlessness that usually comes with the first day of snow!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f8, 1/10s; +0.3 stop; tripod.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Winter has begun

This morning I went with my friend and colleague Marijn Heuts to his ‘local patch’. Well before sunrise we were out in the field, the light was bluish, it was pretty cold (-5°C). In the first photo you see me working on a heathland composition. In the second photo you see the result. Thanks Marijn for the pleasant ‘sub-zero’ morning and for sending me this photo (I should really buy a new cap).

* Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 70-200mm/f4 @ 200mm; ISO-100, f11, 1/6s; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-200, f16, 1/2s; +0.3 stop; 2 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Crane gathering

It was easy to find Common Cranes (Grus grus/Kraanvogel) around the moors near Diepholz, Germany; there were ± 40.000 of them, making a stopover during migration to feed on the harvested corn fields. What was not so easy was to find a nice autumn setting with cranes in front of it. This photo comes close to what I pre-visualized. While I was photographing these Cranes (a few families) a lot of passing ‘Sunday-afternoon Crane- watchers’ told me to go a few km’s further east down the road: “Over 1000 Cranes are standing on a green meadow out in the open, at much closer range”. They didn’t understand why I was so stubborn to stay here at this disturbance-safe distance.

* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/500s; -0.3 stop; tripod.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


This morning the sky was clear, temperatures dropped to -5°C, ideal for hoar-frost. So, I was out in the field, and here are 2 impressions from my local playground. Also the first ice floor (½ cm thick) of the year was there, always a nice milestone to celebrate!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-200, f22, 1/6s; +0.3 stop; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-400, f13, 1/100s.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Amsterdamned II

It was almost a year ago that I had an appointment with this Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago/Watersnip). This time we had a nice chat as well. So many things happened last year. He told me about the hard winter and how difficult it was to find food; I told him about the perils at my work.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/320s; from beanbag.

Monday, 8 October 2012


Autumn has arrived, colors in nature explode. On the first photo the ‘red-carpet’ of Many-stalked Spike-rush (Eleocharis multicaulis/Veelstengelige Waterbies) with a touch of frost (the first frost this season) just before sunrise. This plant of the sedge family is found near and in moorland fens. I can’t wait for the moment that the birch trees in the background turn from green into yellow.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-200, f16, 1.3s; 3 stop ND soft gradient filter, tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-200, f16, 1/3s; 3 stop ND soft gradient filter, tripod.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Presents for free

Lots of presents this weekend. And they were all for free! An awesome sunset yesterday evening (I was driving on the A58 between Eindhoven and Tilburg). A very nice sunrise (this time I was in the field with my camera in the good company Andrew George!) this morning, and now in the afternoon I am enjoying a tasteful beer (Jupiler) in my backyard feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-100, f16, 1/3s; 2 stop ND soft gradient filter, tripod.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Probe, eat, and run

Probe, eat and run, that is what Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa Lapponica/Rosse Grutto) do. Every year they are seen along the Dutch coast, making a stopover to refuel for their long distance migration from their breeding grounds in the tundra to Africa. This morning it was stormy, with dark gloomy clouds in the sky and a hazy fog of salt spray above the beach. The surf created a thin wet film on the sand causing blurry reflections. Great light, nice scenery, and a confiding bird, exactly the circumstances I hoped for.

* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS; ISO-200, f6.3, 1/500s; +0.7 stop; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS; ISO-200, f6.3, 1/500s; +0.7 stop; from beanbag.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Spider time

There is a lot of physics to be seen on these dew-covered cobweb ‘miniscapes’.
  • Gravity: Notice the downwards curvature of the heavy water-loaded spinning threads.
  • Optics: A close look reveals a world turned upside down in the droplets.
  • Surface tension caused by Vanderwaals forces: That is the reason why droplets are formed in the first place.
Sorry, I can’t resist referring to my background now and then.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f4, 1/3200s; -0.3 stop.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f20, 1/200s; -0.7 stop; tripod.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


Back home again. Not much text this time. No sunset or sunrise either, but instead a full moonset at 6h45 AM above my local fen.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-100, f16, 2.5s; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter, tripod.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Fire in the sky

View from the west coast of Öland, just after sunset. Simple ingredients for this photo; a few granite rocks, the sea, and clouds. The colors were amazing this last evening in Sweden.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 20mm; ISO-50, f16, 5s; -0.3 stop; 2 stop ND hard gradient filter, tripod.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Öland waders

The limestone plates along the south-east coast of Öland attracted a lot a migrating waders. Some adult birds still had much of their summer plumage; see the black-bellied Dunlin (Calidris alpina/Bonte Strandloper) on the 2nd  photo and the red-orange out-of-focus Knot (Caladris canutus/Kanoet) on the last photo. Note the different conditions in light during this this afternoon session.

* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/1600s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/2000s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-400, f7.1, 1/800s; from beanbag.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Gräsgårds Hamn, Öland

The last week of our holiday we stayed on the Swedish island Öland. In the south-east corner of this elongated island you find the hamlet Gräsgårds Hamn, which is probably the smallest harbour of the world. From here you could sail right away to the Baltic Sea.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 21mm; ISO-800, f7.1, 1/60s; polarization filter, 3 stop ND soft gradient filter, hand held.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Loony conversions

The day after we arrived in Sweden, Halland I found 4 Black-throated Divers (Gavia arctica/Parelduiker) on a small lake at walking distance from our summer cottage. Beforehand I did not plan for anything special, photographically I mean (the main idea of the summer holiday is to relax a bit and to take things as they come, isn’t it?). However, at the very instant I saw these beautiful taiga birds (still in full summer plumage!) a small project was born.

I improvised a bit and created a camouflaged hiding place from which I had a low POV on the lake. Here are some results of this week. The first picture is actually from the first evening, the other one was taken early in the morning as you can see. Luckily there was sunny high-pressure weather for a couple of days, that is to say, not much wind and no clouds during the night. As a consequence temperatures dropped down from 25°C during daytime to about 5°C in early morning, creating a ‘steaming’ lake!

Besides the loons the lake was completely empty. The numbers of Black-throated Divers on the lake varied between 1 and 9, only adults. Strangely I never saw any youngsters. I had the impression that after the breeding season they bring visits to one another’s lake. May be to do some communal fishing, or to discuss their breeding success, or to have a debate about the fish quality. It is also possible that they already decide who is going to hold territory on which lake next year. Who knows? Anyhow the sound they make is unbelievable, it echoes over the water and is eerie. You feel it going down right in your spine.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-800, f5.6, 1/160s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-800, f5.6, 1/320s; +0.3 stop; from tripod.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Danish Lions

I just returned from my yearly summer recess. This time we went to Sweden and Denmark. In Denmark we had a 1-week family holiday in a big luxury house (with sauna) in the middle of cereal fields near Allingåbro. Here you see my mother Isabella (71) and my daughter Evelien (21), both are lions, not only according to their constellation but also in character: wild (especially the youngest), emotional, and fierce, but also warm and affectionate.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 300 mm/f4; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/500s; hand held.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Scarce Copper & Black-veined White

And the last butterfly pictures from the Swiss Alps. Scarce Copper (Lycaena virgaureae/Morgenrood) perching on a wheat ear and Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi/Groot Geaderd Witje) between the sweet summer colors of Rosebay Willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium/Wilgenroosje). Both photos are taken not far from our “amis de la nature” house at Finhaut-Giétroz (alt. 1350m). A quiet and peaceful place, very friendly hostess, and delicious cooking with biological products!

* Canon EOS 7D with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5, 1/400s; -0.3 stop; hand held.
* Canon EOS 7D with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f4, 1/125s; -0.3 stop; hand held.

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Hi, I am an Apollo (Parnassius apollo/Apollovlinder). Early in the morning the warmth of the sun wakes me up. At day-time I glide without any effort above steep rocky slopes and colorful flower carpets, enjoying my freedom. And when the sun goes down at the end of the day I pick a special flower to rest for the night, waiting to get air-born again tomorrow.

* Canon EOS 7D with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f3.2, 1/100s; -0.3 stop; hand held.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Alpine Heath

Alpine Heath (Coenonympha gardetta/Alpenhooibeestje) at Riederalp (alt. 2000m), Switzerland. At the end of the day the butterflies ‘disappeared’ all of a sudden in the vegetation. Arie Ouwerkerk and Iolente Navarro were experts in finding these resting insects in the long grass. I also gave it a try, and every time I found something it turned out to be an Alpine Heath (one of easier ones according to them), so why not photographing them in backlight?

* Canon EOS 7D with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/320s; -0.3 stop; hand held.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Mountain current in Lötschental, Switzerland (alt. 1800m). I went with Kees Ouwerkerk, Arie Ouwerkerk & Iolente Navarro to the kanton of Wallis (Valais) last week. Besides butterflies I captured also some landscapes. Here is one of them. The flower field (left on the photo) was a real butterfly paradise. Near a sloped edge a bit higher up in the field at least 6 Clouded Apollo's (Parnassius mnemosyne/Zwarte Apollo) were flying around.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 17-40mm/f4 @ 19mm; ISO-50, f22, 1.3s; polarization filter and 3 stop ND soft gradient filter; from tripod.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Cottongrass aftermath

It is now more than a month ago since I started photographing ‘my’ fen with Common Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium/Veenpluis). I have made many pictures. Now the flowers are on their return and the seeds are taken by the wind. I wanted to capture this final process, and I had such a photo in my mind for quite some time. Yesterday late afternoon the circumstances were perfect.
I had to do everything I could to obtain reasonable long exposure times out in the open field with sunshine. First of all I lowered the ISO value as much as I could on the camera (50). By the way it is a pity that the camera manufactures are only interested to extend the ISO range at the high value end; there is also a need in creative photography to go to ISO 25, ISO 10, or may be even lower. How nice would that be! Next I used a very small aperture (f18). Usually I do not want to go much beyond f16 because in my view the image quality gets less if you use so little glass. But the big trick to obtain a shutter time of 13 seconds is the fader (@ 7 stops) in combination with a 3 stops gradient ND filter (3 stops). With this photo I close my Cottongrass project for this year.
Targets for next year: Cottongrass with a rainbow in the sky or with some thunder and lightning ... ahum, keep on dreaming Gerard, but on the other hand ... dreams are always the starting point for new things, isn't it? But first of all it is time to take a small break and work out a few ideas for new project.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-50, f18, 13s; fader @ 7 stops, 3 stop ND soft gradient filter; from tripod.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Cottongrass stage 3

For those who are interested I copied a few informative lines from Wikipedia about the subject I was working on the last couple of weeks. Common Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium/Veenpluis) is a plant from the sedge family, so even though it looks like a form of grass, technically it is not. It grows in acidic wetlands and peat bogs all over northern parts of Europe, Asia and North America. The flowering stem is 20–70 cm tall, and has three to five cotton-like inflorescences hanging from the top.
Did you know that the presence of Cottongrass is a useful indicator to hikers of potentially dangerous deep peat bogs to be avoided! Oops …

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-250, f3.2, 1/500s; hand held.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Beautiful Demoiselle & Red-underwing Skipper

Together with Silvia Reiche, famous for her fine and detailed insect live photography, I visited the Eifel. This sparsely populated hilly area in Germany is normally a paradise for butterflies at this time of the year. However, today the numbers of butterflies were very very low (despite good weather, i.e. sunny spells and not too much wind after a cold morning). Nevertheless, we found several special species. The hilltop calcareous grassland list: Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages / Bruin Dikkopje), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius / Kalkgraslanddikkopje), Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe / Rode Vuurvlinder), Small Blue (Cupido minimus / Dwergblauwtje), and Woodland Ringlet (Erebia medusa / Voorjaarerebia). In the late afternoon we drove to a valley with to search for Bog Fritillary (Boloria eunomia / Ringoogparelmoervlinder). And luckily we found one, but again it was the only flying butterfly in a marshy meadow full of Common Bistort (Persicaria bistorta / Adderwortel)! I suspect that the many caterpillars did not survive the drought of spring 2011.
But the good news of today is that for the first time since I was 4 years old I was able to walk an entire day in a field full of grasses heavy with spikelets without sneezing, watery red eyes and a runny nose. I still can’t believe it, is my hayfever finally on the return?
On the photos you see Red-underwing Skipper on Black Rampion (Phyteuma nigrum / Zwartblauwe Rapunzel) and the star of the day, a ♂ Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo / Bosbeekjuffer). The latter name sounds like contradictio in terminis but it is not in this context.

* Canon EOS 7D with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/250s; hand held
* Canon EOS 7D with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/125s; hand held.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cottongrass stage 2

As you can see the Common Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium/Veenpluis) is still flowering luxuriant! This morning it was quality time again; the exploration of last Wednesday paid off now!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-100, f16, 1/2s; 3 stop ND soft gradient filter; from tripod.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Metallic frog

This evening I checked-out the local fen again. I wanted to know the state of the Cottongrass (is it still flowering?) and to look for a nice viewpoint for a wide-angle exposure? The weather was nothing spectacular (no wind, no clouds, no mist, just a plain peaceful sunset), so I left my photo gear in my bag. But when I was about to go home these round wonderful eyes of a Green Frog (Rana esculenta/Groene Kikker) just above the water surface stared at me I quickly mounted my macro lens to the camera. It looks like the water is covered with a metal membrane. Beauty is in so many things that are just around us all the time, you only have to lallygag and open up a bit to see it.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/60s; +0.7 stop; hand held.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Nest protection by photographer!

In 2011 this Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor/Kleine Bonte Specht) also attempted to breed in this birch. However, just when he finished the cavity the tree collapsed (probably because the tree was hit by a tractor with a heavy agricultural machine). Against all odds I immediately repaired the tree with some slats. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker returned immediately to the cavity, but unfortunately the brood of 2011 was unsuccessful. Apparently the disaster of last year has been forgotten. Now there are young birds in a new cavity in the same splinted birch, and dad returns regularly with a bill loaded with insects and caterpillars. Mum is a bit lazy and does not show up at all. When I was sitting in my hide photographing this diligent ♂, a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major/Grote Bonte Specht), appeared at the scene. IMHO big brother was too interested in the hole with begging sounds. I guess he wanted to robe the nest, so I scared it off. Who says that nest photography is disturbing?

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4.0; ISO-800, f8.0, 1/200s; from tripod.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cottongrass stage 1

Early morning (at 5h15 AM) I went together with Andrew George to a small local fen with flowering Common Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium/Veenpluis). In the Netherlands it is folklore (for some people) to do an early morning walk in the fields on Ascension Day. We even have a special word for this “dauwtrappen”, meaning something like “go out in the country-side while the dew is still on the grass”. I do not know whether this is also the habit at other countries. Anyhow, we enjoyed it very much and were rewarded with a wonderful sunrise!
Note that these photos are made at the very same spot as the one of May 13th 2012! The photo of myself, doing what I by far most like, is made by Andrew.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-100, f16, 1/6s; -0.7 stop; 3 stop ND soft gradient filter; from tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-100, f5.6, 1/200s; hand held.
* Nikon D700 with Nikkor 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 70mm; ISO-200, f3.5, 1/8000s; -0.7 stop; hand held.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Cottongrass prologue

For me as a typical evening person the biggest drawback of nature photography is that you have to get up very, very early, especially around this time of the year. Moreover, I was pretty tired the last couple of weeks and so I decided to do the second best thing, and made this wide-angle exposure at a more decent time, i.e. just before sunset.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 17-40mm/f4 @ 19mm; ISO-100, f16, 1/4s; polarization and 3 stop ND soft gradient filter; from tripod.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Thundery sky

Bad weather is good weather for a nature photographer. Strabrechtsche Heide this evening, it just starts to rain. Time for one more 30s exposure and then it is time to pack and go back (the open plain is not a nice place to be when lightning is all around). The Natterjack (see previous post) concert just started here.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-100, f11, 30s; fader @ 7 stops; from tripod.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Natterjack in concert

New rock band? No, ... just a couple of toads. When dusk sets in the Natterjack's (Epidalea calamita, formerly Bufo calamita / Rugstreeppad) concert starts. It is deafening; look at the large vocal sac (kwaakblaas). Great to be one of the spectators. Night photography is fun!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 100mm/f2.8; ISO-800, f6.3, 1/60s; handheld, flash set at -0.7 stop exposure compensation.   

Friday, 13 April 2012

Aythya storyboarding

On this grey misty morning a Pochard ♀ (Aythya ferina/Tafeleend) and a Tufted Duck ♂ (Aythya fuligula/Kuifeend) came very close. Why? A possible explanation in the form of Aythya thoughts:

[Pochard] “What is that strange clicking sound? Let’s check it out. It seems to come from that black round hole in the shore vegetation. I don’t thrust it, let’s pretend to fall asleep and keep an eye on it from a distance ...”
* Canon EOS 7D with 300mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/200s; +0.7 stop; from beanbag.

[Tufted Duck] ”Hmm, why is that insipid Pochard female all the time in that corner of the pond? Probably she discovered delicious molluscs under the water surface. I’d better be careful because Pochards are big and strong, but above all they are really boring, I don’t like their scaly appearance. I really prefer the uniform brownish Anythia fuligula females, especially if they are young. Although the older ones, with some white around the bill base, seem to be better breeders. Let’s go a bit closer inconspicuously. I swim in that direction casuallywhile doing some feather care.”
* Canon EOS 7D with 300mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/200s; +0.7 stop; from beanbag.

[Pochard] “Ieeeek, that arrogant Tufted Duck is coming closer. What a poser with those sloppy hairs, he definitely need a proper haircut. I can easily chase it away, but let’s be decent and avoid a confrontation. I move on. By the way that clicking has not stopped yet …”
* Canon EOS 7D with 300mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/250s; +1.0 stop; from beanbag.

[Tufted Duck] “Allright she is gone. This was indeed smart tactics to get here without drawing too much attention. Hey what a funny sound. Further nothing special around, except for that round black hole in the vegetation; I did not notice that before. No molluscs either. Okay, let’s move on.”
* Canon EOS 7D with 300mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f7.1, 1/320s; from beanbag.

[Pochard] “That black-and-white macho is gone sister. By the way, this is also the way they think. Anythia fuligula are somehow unable to see any shades of grey. But as I told you, it was near this place that I heard a very strange sound. Listen, there it is again. Do you know what it is?”
* Canon EOS 7D with 300mm/f4 IS; ISO-400, f7.1, 1/200s; from beanbag.

The moral of this little story is twofold: 1) Prejudices are the cause of many misunderstandings (as we all know of course), 2) If you try to think as your subject, your photography will improve.