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Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma EX 500mm f4.5 APO HSM, RAW ISO 800, Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4x
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/640 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-10 3:50
Viewed: 3298
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A female Smew at RSPB Dungeness nature reserve. These ducks are very timid and it is very difficult to get close enough.

From Birdguides:

Smew (Mergellus albellus)

In: Smew Ca: Bec de serra petit Da: Lille Skallesluger De: Zwergsäger Es: Serreta chica Fi: uivelo Fr: Harle piette It: Pesciaiola Nl: Nonnetje No: Lappfiskand Pt: Merganso-pequeno Sv: Salskrake US: Smew Ru: Луток

The male is unmistakable - entirely white with sparse black lines. The female resembles a small female Goldeneye with her grey body, white wing panel and reddish brown head, but the large and conspicuous pale cheek patch is distinctive. This pattern may cause confusion with Slavonian Grebe or Ruddy Duck but the Smew is bigger headed and thicker necked than the Grebe and lacks the horizontal face stripe of a female Ruddy duck or the black crown of an eclipse male.

Breeds in trees beside lakes. Winters on lakes, reservoirs and estuaries.

Smew migrate from their main breeding grounds in Finland and Russia, to inland and coastal regions of western Europe, mainly around southern parts of the Baltic and North Seas, as well as the Black and Caspian Seas.

Adanac, jaycee, siggi, CeltickRanger, Jamesp has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-10 4:36]

Hello Pekka,
Well this is new to me Pekka, a Smew, it is cute like its name.
Your image is good considering they are flighty. The colors and markings are wonderful. Thank you Pekka.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-12-10 10:09]

Have to say i have never even heard of a Smew! A good capture though if they are hard to shoot, nice composition and watery setting.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-10 10:23]

Hi Pekka,

Always nice to meet a new duck! A Smew is new to me. She looks so cute with that big black eye and the red head. Nice colors and good details. We see her well even though from a distance. The water looks delicious.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-10 11:03]

Hi Pekka. I should love to see this bird close up but as you say a little shy . Anyway once again you bring us a unusual not often posted bird. You have good colours and detail. I like the orange head feathers. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-10 11:46]

Hello Pekka,
great shot, and wonderful composition. POV, sharpness and details are wonderful. I like the textures and the colors a lot.
Regards Siggi

hello Pekka

excellent shot of the Smew with fine POV, DOF and framing,
excellent sharpness and details and also excellent contrast,
i love the waves forms on the image, TFS


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-12-10 23:24]

Hi Pekka

A grea shot of this Smew - I think they are uncommon here? Anyway - great faming and colours too.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-12 14:07]

Hi Pekka,
a lovely shot of this Smew!
It stands out very well against the blue water.
Sharp and crisp.
Well composed.
Spot-on exposure.

Very well done,

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