Thursday, January 7, 2010

Red bill, light sleeper.

Male Common Mergansers sort of glow, an almost peachiness to the sides of the body. They also are light sleepers. This one was snoozing close to shore, and I thought I had a good chance for a nice, close photo. But although I crept forward carefully, it began to swim away, before even lifting its tucked head. One eye remains open it seems.

By the time it showed me a profile, it was a hundred feet out.

Meanwhile, mooching mallards mobbed me.

6 comments:

Carol said...

They seem to be always on alert! Still you got some great shots!

Pablo said...

Marvelous. Meritorious. Magnificent.

Amber Coakley said...

Well at least you can get close to Mallards. I was out last week, and the group of Mallards kept their distance as I walked around the lake, even scolding me with reproachful quacks as they swam away from me.

Even at a distance, the Merganser is a real looker!

Karen said...

It is so interesting how different species seem to have varying alertness levels. Is that due to amount of time per year they spend near humans, or something else? Mallards always let me get so close, and so many others are much more skittish. Hm.

Hugh said...

Karen, The mallards reside year-round among humans (were born at that park), and readily eat grain and (urp) bread. Mergs are transient, and eat fish, mostly. They have no use for humans.

Kathleen Scott said...

I was just thinking of mergansers, saw a hooded merganser this morning at Lady Bird Lake in Austin, first I've seen in ages. It's fun to see them dug underwater and pop up impossibly later.