Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) also known as Black Scoter

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This female Common Scoter has spent several days feeding in the sea around Pendennis Point, Falmouth.

It’s normally difficult even getting close to these diving ducks from a boat, so when this female Common Scoter came within ten metres of me crouched on rocks on the waters edge I thought I’d actually, for once, manage to get a reasonable shot with a 400mm lens.

Having managed three close up shots before it turned and swam away I was pretty confident of having taken a good record shot. Later, upon viewing the images on the computer, I was more than a little incensed that I’d failed miserably to get the close ups sharp.

Having used single point auto-focusing on the duck’s head, the lens had actually focused on the water behind!

Consequently, I had to resort to heavily cropping a more distant image.