On my usual feed store run with a side trip through Baskett Slough, I took a few photos. Male Northern Pintails are easy to recognize... from the side... but I had never seen one from the back before... Of course, with the long tail visible it's obvious. But how about those two white stripes on gray lumps in the water in front of the pintail side view? Would I have known they were pintails if I had not seen them before they went under?
And what about female pintails if they have their long necks scrunched down and their gray legs under water? Or are keeping company with Mallards?
I generally identify females by the males they're hanging out with. Would I know this was a female Green-winged Teal if I saw her alone?
There were about 55 swans on the south side of "The Narrows" on Coville road. I'm assuming they are Tundras. Some day, when I have lots of time, I'll get out all my swan id material and review the Tundra vs. Trumpeter distinctions. I do believe the ones with gray necks are young birds.
Obviously, I have a long way to go in identifying waterfowl since even the common ones give me pause. But that's why I love birdwatching. All worries and cares evaporate as I concentrate on the birds in front of me. I leave both relaxed and stimulated... and with a smile on my face.