This week's quest are GREBES, but Mergansers are presenting themselves to me instead, so I am going with the flow- for now.
Today at the cottage in a rare bit of open water I found Common Mergansers, the largest of our three provincial mergies:
You will be rewarded with more detail if you double-click on the photos, and by then hitting the "back" button, you will return to the blog:
This gang was body-surfing through the rough waters of Emily Creek:
Hooded Mergansers, the smallest we have here in Ontario, were also in the back swamp, noticeably less active in the courtship department than what I saw here in Durham a few weeks ago. Maybe
they were focusing on taking out Wiarton Willy "that ship has sailed", or The Wild Thing was the last thing on their minds between snow squalls and cold temperatures. Or maybe they were simply rejoicing in finding some open water!!
I was pleased to see the camaraderie between the Hooded and male Common Merganser "can't we all just get along?"
...and the female Common followed suit too, by chilling with the Hoodies:
As for our third provincial Merganser, on the week-end at Bronte Harbour, both this male Red-breasted Merganser and I were equally shocked to be in such close proximity to each other, as diving ducks may not be that wise when it comes to decision-making when it re-surfaces!
What a fabulous duck, though, look at the colours of its black head accentuated with a hunter green sheen (perhaps that's an inappropriate reference if you're a duck at certain times of the year):
The female Red-breasted Merganser is more easily recognized now when compared to the female Common, as the colour definition on the Red-breasted is more subtle versus sharply defined on the Common:
...but back to the male Red-breasted: the red bill catching the sunlight is spectacular, and yup, you got it, a red breast!
So as I continue along with my Grebe Quest (you just have to wait and suffer along with me, sorry!), other highlights of the past week include a pair of Merlins today at the cottage. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on these Pigeon Hawks, despite the body count at the base of tree trunks in the area:
Wild Turkeys actually flew across the road in front of me this afternoon, with the exception of these lazy bum stragglers:
I now have Chris's cooties too, from the American Coots in Cobourg:
And speaking of Chris, here's her catnip:
Gadwalls in flight at Sobey's pond was a treat...
...as were three Harlequin Ducks at Whitby harbour over the week-end, two males and a female which you may have to work a bit to see, as they blend in so incredibly well on the rocks:
And finally, as a follow-up to last week's post on the Trumpeter Swan in possible distress at Newcastle harbour due to fishing line, all is well with her so far. She was one of Chris' personal Toronto Wildlife Centre releases, so we all have a soft spot for her!