23 November 2011

Torrent duck female, Torres del Paine

My luck still seems to be holding. On the last morning of my time in PN Torres del Paine I rose before dawn and watched the spectacular colours and light on the mountains around campamento Italiano. The display had just passed its peak and had begun to fade, so I shut the camera down and began to think about breakfast.

I switched the camera on again quickly, though, when I saw a male torrent duck standing on a boulder in the river right by the footbridge. The female joined him soon after, and for quarter of an hour or so I watched and photographed as they preened (here, the female has just paused during preening) and swam downstream before flying back up opposite me in the river, much closer than the birds at El Chalten. With so little light, photographing was difficult (I have many blurred photographs), but the softer light gave a lovely effect.

At times, particularly in the swiftest water, they seemed to be running in the torrent, standing erect with little more than their feet submerged. No one else had risen when I saw them for the last time, bobbing down the river.

[21 November 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 280 mm, ISO 200, 1/13 at f5.5. Unlike the previous photo, this hasn't been cropped at all.]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor


Zhoen said...

You do make friends wherever you go.

pohanginapete said...

Mutual liking, I think, Zhoen ;^)