Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser)

editing note: the above photo was added on Aug. 4/06

There is an advantage to living close to a river if you have an interest in nature photography.

This afternoon while out walking I stopped at one of the river lookouts and saw six Common Mergansers swimming down stream. Seeing these Mergansers made me realize that they were the first I had seen this summer. This years spring and summer seasons have brought a lot of rain, resulting in very high water levels at times, and I had wondered if any ducks along the river had been successful in their nesting.

Later, while browsing through my picture files, I found I was able to document this Merganser species' presence on the river previous summers as early as June. Above is one of my favourites photos: a female Common Merganser and her young ducklings, taken in June, 2002.
Another photo (below), taken on August 15, 2001, shows these Common Mergansers at much the same stage in their development as the six that I had seen today. One year mergansers were still present on the river in November.
above: a male Common Merganser

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