will be the cleanest duck on this lake,' said the bird
photographer sitting next to me in the hide, 'it's been
preening for twenty minutes now. I've taken about 70 pictures
and I think I've got one decent one!'
His telescope with a Leica digital camera mounted on
it (or was it camera with a telephoto lens mounted on
it?*) struck me as a ideal for birdwatching as you can
instantly take an image of any bird you're having difficulty
But when drawing the awkward poses adopted by a preening
duck are more fun than your standard field guide poses.
When a bird stands on one leg and fans out a wing or its
tail you get more clues to its structure than when the
feathers present a smooth surface.
* Apparently it's called 'digiscoping'