Monday, March 31, 2008

Common Goldeneye Returns

Can you see its golden eye? This fish-eating duck species, a Common Goldeneye, is usually the first migrant duck I see each spring in our area. I have a special place where I look for them and had been checking each day recently. Last week there was just a small area of open water at the stream where I usually find them, but when we returned to check on Saturday we were rewarded with the sight of a pair of Common Goldeneye and a pair of Hooded Mergansers in a free flowing, much greater open area of the same frozen location seen just a few days earlier.
To the right is the female seen this past Saturday and the photo to the left below, taken a previous year, shows both a male and female. The female lacks the distinctive round white spot of the male, and her head is brown, however she does have the same golden eyed feature as the male. This next photo below, is a composite that I had put together a couple of years ago. I know there were two Goldeneye originally and I had added a third but I'm not quite sure now which one is the added one. This photo is a favourite of mine for I love the uncluttered look and the crisp black and white features of the males.

Below, taken from my photo archives, a pair of Common Goldeneye, April 2006.


Mary said...

They certainly are lovely ducks! That black and white is very striking, but she is pretty, too with her brown head. The cheek patch is round and white. Makes you wonder at its purpose.

April said...

I enjoyed your wonderful post. Ducks have such beautiful patterns in their feathers - to see them is like being at an art gallery. I love your landscape photo as well. Nice that you were able to find the Goldeneye.

Sandpiper said...

They are so beautiful. I've only seen one Goldeneye in my life, when I was in New Hampshire. Your pictures are fantastic.

me and my camera said...

Good question about the white circled you have me wondering too.

I find ducks fascinating and it is difficult at this time of year to wait for the ice to go out of the rivers and for the ducks to return.

So glad then that I can show you something that is unusual for you not often being viewed in your area.

Thank you all for your comments.