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Eurasian or American Wigeon

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Apologies in advance for some of the most stupendously horrible shots I've ever taken, but this would be a lifer for me, so I'd like to get confirmation if possible with the evidence such as it is. Gray body, no darker outline on the head. It's the best I've got...if I blow them up anymore whatever resolution is left goes to h e double toothpicks.





The long story is I am almost never without my camera (Nikon P900) except when I make the .5 mile walk to and from work. I used to carry it, but stopped. Even knowing this exact thing would happen one day. We have American Wigeon coming out our ears here in Astoria, OR over winter. Last night I walked back our little Mill Pond, thought there was a bird that looked like a Eurasian. It was sort of pestering a pair of American Wigeon. But no camera, losing light, so had to tell myself nah, and went on. Should've called for camera delivery...fast forward to this morning, completely not on game yet again and need of more caffeine apparently, I set off for work without my camera. This time a couple dozen AMWI are out on the pond, most of them heads tucked in and asleep. This guy again was in another corner of the pond just bobbing all over. I took three lousy photos with the iPhone. I have five minutes to finish getting to work, no time to turn around or call for a camera. I get to work, call the husband, get my camera, go to the pond, take a picture of every wigeon! He does, but...he's color blind, so what does he know? He takes photos of every single American Wigeon, great shots...but not my bird. At lunch he comes to get me and we head back over. It's a fine rain, most of the wigeons are gone, I'm staring frantically amount when a neighbor getting her mail stops to chat...and chat...and chat...about the birds, the mayor, the developer, the view....and as I'm sitting there with me and the car getting wet from rain....I had to excuse myself to get back to work.


After work....no wigeons on the pond. ?

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LOL I'll take two opinions whatever order they come in!

Also I love a good read and to tell a story, part of my English major background, though my bosses in finance (various directors, managers and CFOs tend to go into TLDR mode when they get an email from me!)

Thanks to both of you!

Edited by okaugust
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He does not for the purpose of birding. A friend of ours actually just passed on to him a nice Nikon set up, and he's been more focused (pun intended) on taking pictures of boats. We are right along the Columbia River so a lot of freighters, pilot boats, fishing boats, etc go by or park along here. He has been practicing a bit with it on ducks and some flight shots while out though, and actually snapped a rare, off season Osprey and didn't even realize it until I was looking at his boat pictures and said, "Wait a minute, what you got there?" He's sort of an incidental birder.

His camera doesn't have the same zoom, even with its big lens, of the P900, but he got some incredible shots yesterday.






As a matter of fact, even though I would've dug some comparisons up, having his and my lousy camera phone shots up at the same time helped me realized the differences in coloration that made me more certain I had the Eurasian. I'll pass along the compliment. He doesn't think they are any good!

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1 hour ago, okaugust said:

He doesn't think they are any good!

They're way beyond just 'good enough to get an ID'.  I love the last one with the water droplets on the bird!

If these are cropped, the last two are little close and the first one a bit off center.  If they're straight out of the camera, never mind.

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Husband sends his thanks for the compliment!

They are mostly straight out of the camera. I tweaked the light and so on just a bit, but the center of focus is mostly what it was coming out of the camera. He was doing the shots quick since he'd had to take a work break to get over to get them. He did say he didn't know how I hold the camera out as long as I do :classic_laugh: but the P900 was recommended to me by a friend who works for Apple and spent much of his career developing photo software. He says the zoom is better than some of his $8000 lens. It's light weight and no extra parts to carry.

We did get back to the pond again this morning. We stopped at various points along the little pond and tried to spot it. The AMWI took off, about 8 of them, and I about lost hope again, but the Eurasian stayed behind with the Mallards so I got a few not great but much better than cell phone shots. Pretty happy camper! I walked home and was hoping for more looks, but didn't spot it. In the car this morning we left it on so we could motor on if needed as the passenger side of the road is no parking, and even though it's a hybrid and shuts off, there is still minute vibration (and today more misty rain) to contend with.

At my age after a lifetime of lousy vision and computer use, I pretty much snap everything because I don't trust my own eyes.

Thanks again all for the help!


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10 hours ago, okaugust said:

He did say he didn't know how I hold the camera out as long as I do :classic_laugh: but the P900 was recommended to me by a friend

P900, P950, and even the 3-pound P1000 are popular with Whatbird members, for the reasons you mention - a lot of zoom for a reasonable price and without having to tote a lot of gear.

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