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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-03-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-06-08 6:31
Viewed: 2951
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Smew (Mergellus albellus) is a small duck, which is somewhat intermediate between the typical mergansers (Mergus) and the goldeneyes (Bucephala). It is the only member of the genus Mergellus; sometimes included in Mergus, this genus is distinct (though closely related) and might actually be a bit closer to the goldeneyes. The Smew has interbred with the Common Goldeneye (B. clangula).

The drake Smew, with its 'cracked ice' appearance, is unmistakable, and looks very black-and-white in flight. The females and immature males are grey birds with chestnut foreheads and crowns, and can be confused at a distance with the Ruddy Duck; they are often known as "redhead" Smew. It has oval white wing-patches in flight. The Smew's bill has a hooked tip and serrated edges, which help it catch fish when it dives for them.

Distribution and ecology
This species breeds in the northern taiga of Europe and Asia. It needs trees for breeding. The Smew lives on fish-rich lakes and slow rivers. As a migrant it leaves its breeding areas and winters on sheltered coasts or inland lakes of the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, northern Germany and the Low Countries, with small number reaching Great Britain (for example, at Dungeness), mostly at regular sites. Vagrants have been recorded in North America. On lakes it prefers areas around the edges, often under small trees.

The Smew breeds in May and lays 6–9 cream-colored eggs. It nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests. It is a shy bird and flushes easily when disturbed.

The Smew is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. It is not considered threatened by the IUCN.

Source: Wikipedia

Photo is taken in birdpark Avifauna.

uleko, ana974, vanda, cloud, maaciejka, goatman04, Marco2010, marius-secan, eqshannon, CeltickRanger, parasbhalla, Mamagolo2, anel, Pitoncle, Chiza, bungbing, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice shot, with sharpness, composition and refleftion. TFS.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2012-06-08 6:41]

Hello Peter,
This is one of my favourite birds that we also managed to once! This is a lovely capture where it stands out against the ' bright blue' water. Excellent sharpness, beautiful colours and well framed!
TFS and best regards, Ulla

Hello Peter!
What a cute duck!I like the color of the water and all the composition.Nice sharpness and lovely reflections.Well done!TFS
Thanks also for visiting my gallery!I appreciated it!
Nice w-end!

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2012-06-08 6:59]

Hi Peter!
Excellent portrait of this nice bird. Excellent sharpness, splendid lighting and reflections.
Great contrast against the blue water ad BG.
Very well done: congratulations.
ciao! Vanda

  • Great 
  • tree Silver Star Critiquer [C: 28 W: 0 N: 14] (8)
  • [2012-06-08 7:12]

Hello Peter,
I am amazed at all the different ducks in the world. This is a very nice picture of another pretty duck. The blue water frames the duck nicely. The ripples indicates movement. Have a good weekend.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-06-08 7:23]

Hello Peter,
A beautiful shot of this Smew in the great looking water. The colors are lovely and the details of the face and feathers are superb.Best regards Siggi

Hello Peter,
great capture of this small duck with good sharpness and a lovely deep blue colour of the water. I see you have to fight with the sunlight and the white, but you have managed the difficult situation splendidly.
Best wishes,

Awesome shot of this cute duck,

hallo Peter
Aparte eend so wit van kleur
Super goed vanscherpte en veel details
kleuren zijn weer prachtig
bedankt groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2012-06-08 9:11]

Hello Peter,
This species of duck i haven't seen yet, very interesting plumage.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-06-08 9:16]

Hi Peter,a beautiful specie and an excellent capture,just a bit overexposed on the white plumage,great details and reflections.Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

Ciao Peter, lovely composition with fascinating reflectioons, great capture of nice duck, fine details, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,
nice photo of this bird. I like your point of view. Great sharpness and composition.
Have a nice weekend,

Hello Peter
Wonderful to see this bird, which doesn't reach us. A lovely photo, good detail, nice exposure and background.
regards yiannis

Hoi Peter,

da's een mooie foto van het mannetje, ik dacht even dat je je camera terug had


Witaj Piotrze,
Very beautiful photo. Nice sharpness and lovely reflections. Splendid duck.
Pozdsrawiam i gratuluje

Hello Peter,

An excellent capture with natural colors, details & setting. Very nicely composed & presented with a great POV.

Very nice work & TFS.

Regards & best wishes!


Ciao Peter.
Splendido smergo ben fotografato con dei dettagli eccellenti,bello il riflesso nell’acqua del soggetto,ottimi i colori maturali ed un’eccellente nitidezza,bene composizione bravo.
Ti auguro una buon fine settimana ciao Marco.

Hello Peter,
What a pleasant surprise with this exceptional duck. The details, colors, focus and WB are amazing. Excellent photo. Very, very beautiful. I like the superb contrast against the blue water.
Thanks for sharing!

Smew... never heard nor seen this one making it a special for me...done in your classic style showing what an all around photographer you are... good show Peter!

Hello Peter

Excellent close-up photo of this species of duck,
fine POV, beautiful light, beautiful reflection
on the water, excellent focus, sharpness, details, TFS


Dear Peter,

This is such a wonderful shot with amazing light and details but unfortunately some parts of the duck (especially its neck region) is tend to OE IMHO!

Except that, the picture is very well taken with nice sharpness and clarity.
The POV is excellent, and colors are natural.
Well done!

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2012-06-09 0:21]

Beautiful species and lovely capture, looks like this one wearing sunglasses. tfs.

Hello Peter,
I love this image of this little duck on the water with the ripples and its reflection in the water. Beautiful colors and great sharp detail with good light. I like the plumage on the head. Great notes!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-06-09 2:27]

Hello Peter,
A very luminous picture you show here. A beautiful bird-species too! Love the little green tuft of feathers on the head of this duck and also the marvellous blue color of the water. I think that I have somewhere in my archives pictures of this duck.
Have a nice weekend
Kind regards

Bonjour Peter,
Très bonnes maîtrise et gestion de la lumière vqalorisant bien le sujet dans une bonne composition utilisant judicieusement le reflet.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2012-06-09 12:08]

Hola Peter, que buena foto de esta especie que no conocía, me gusta mucho la composición, la luz, el enfoque y el entorno, pero sobre todo la suavidad del agua con el nado...saludos.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-06-09 12:57]

Hello Peter,
I must say you sure have some unique and interesting birds in your part of the world. This is another species which I am viewing for the first time and I have to admit it is so beautiful. Love the (cracked ice appearance) you talk about and it's wonderful features, such as the head crest which reminds me of a merganser. Well done!!

Great species and great photo Peter! Very good composition, fantastic lighting and good sharpness.

Bom dia Peter!
I miss this one.Wonderful capture with great POV and composition,wonderful colours and contrast.Excellent sharpness.Thank You.
Have a nice day!
Best regards

Hello Peter,
A lovely picture of this good looking bird, very good sharpness, nice highlighted eye, excellent exposure and fantastic refleftion, a very well captured,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

Peter, this is a beautiful shot of this little duck. I've never seen one of these before. Beautiful capture. Bill

Hi Peter,

The reflections on the water are assets to the composition. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the Smew duck. It is clear and precise. The afternoon light hasd a good effect on the colors. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • girni Silver Note Writer [C: 7 W: 0 N: 13] (193)
  • [2012-11-13 11:33]

j'aime cette pureté de l'eau et le blanc du canard ;belle prise de vue !

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