Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Common Mergansers

A quiet start to the new year. The temps are warm and there's been no rain. The deer are coming around a couple of times a day, looking for bird seed. We saw these Common Mergansers the other day on the little local reservoir. Their wake creates an innocent reflection of the drought in our cloudless blue skies.

15 comments:

  1. They are just ducks to me, can't really tell the difference. Know what a mallard looks like and that is about it. Plenty of water here for them to swim on

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  2. Kali and I saw one female Common Merganser at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge when we went to see the Snowy Owl late last month. Our fellow birders (and we) through it strange that there was one lone female to be seen that day. They're beautiful birds.

    I heard about the California drought on NPR yesterday (or Monday?) morning. Scary, with no end in sight.

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  3. What a cool photo! Our lack of precip has ended this week. Snowpack was less than half of normal, but all this cold rain down here at sea level means snow up there. Sure hope Cali gets some soon.
    Saw what I think might have been a juvenile Great Blue Heron yesterday at Green Lake, stalking along next to a group of coots. It wasn't as dark as the adults get, some how looked awkward! Practicing its stalking technique.

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  4. nice duckies. yes, this drought is beyond scarey. to have fire danger warnings in January is ridiculous. No doubt, if and when we do get rain, it will be a downpour equal to the floor back in the days of Noah.

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  5. Freezing nights and balmy days, but the Daphne are budding.

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  6. Bill-- I got into bird IDing back when we lived in Port Townsend, WA on the Olympic Peninsula. We saw more wildlife there than anywhere, and it just naturally compelled me to find out what I was looking at. We've got a lot of bird reference books now, and I'm always looking stuff up.

    Scott-- We don't often see the mergansers here on this man-made reservoir, so it was really a treat. Up in Washington we often saw the Hooded Merganser. What a beauty! Yeah, the drought is a little bit scary. It has the potential to be a very dangerous thing here in the tinderbox state of California.

    Isabelita-- Glad you are getting some much-need precipitation there. I hope some will head our way. I would love to see that juvenile heron. Haven't seen one of those in a long time.

    Tara-- There were about ten of these beauties up on reservoir. I always love the color of the wake they leave behind them. Scary drought weather. Sure would like a bit of precipitation to take the dry edges off of everything.

    karmanot-- Cold here at night, and highs in the 60s during the day. It's so comfortable and so wrong!

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  7. I always feel badly for the wildlife straddled with the title "common." Like the common Mergansers and the common Gallinules. I'll bet they don't fell common at all and sure don't look like they are. I think they are quite handsome.
    Nice shot.

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  8. Arkansas Patti-- I feel the same way. "Common" seems like a dismissive category, which is so weird because these birds are quite beautiful. Why call anything "common?"

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  9. Do the deer eat your shrubbery? There is a pair here, which I think are a doe and an older fawn, who are stripping some of our plants completely. The last time that happened was when we were having a drought a few years ago.

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  10. Mark-- The deer eat some of our shrubbery in summer, but not much in winter. I think they eat our neighbor's plantings because they are more delicious than what we have. I did see a big buck nibbling on some of the lower madrone leaves, which surprised me. I had not seen the deer eat mature madrone leaves before.

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  11. Always neat to see mergansers! We get a few duck on our pond during the spring and summer but no mergansers. Right now we have to settle for deer in the yard and I never see them soon enough to get a photo lately. There are lots of wild turkey track in our meadows but I've not seen any of them on the property for a couple of weeks. I suspect they are around mostly at night.

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  12. Ontario Wanderer-- The deer have been coming around very regularly lately. It's so dry here, I wonder about food sources for them. They all look well fed, and I'm pretty sure it's not the bird seed that's fattening them up. Really glad to see the mergansers.

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  13. Thanks for sharing this picture. They are so calm

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  14. Nice photo! I don't know very much about ducks, but this is one type that I like. The news is going bonkers down here about fire warnings. There are several smaller ones burning and I wonder how many are set by crazies after hearing the news make such a giant thing about it.

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  15. Pat-- I'm always so glad when we see ducks. When we first moved here we saw Wood Ducks (they are so gorgeous), but the coyote population seems to have sent most of our ducks to other ponds. I also always worry about the people who are inspired to do bad things.

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