Fun-loving Red-breasted Mergansers and Glaucous Gull / Ashbridge’s Bay / February 21, 2019

Here is what my grandfather, ornithologist Dr. J. Murray Speirs said about Red-breasted Mergansers: They always strike me as a high-spirited fowl, “having a ball”, diving, chasing, flying to a new fishing area, “necking”, and having great fun. “Anthropomorphism” you may object, but just watch them and see for yourself.

A small group of mostly males were doing just that this morning at Ashbridge’s Bay:

Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Mergansers

The storm of a few weeks ago left amazing natural ice sculptures along the shore here:

The tree is a Siberian Elm:

Siberian Elm buds (Ulmus pumila)

Today’s group on this 3 degree, windy and overcast morning:

As usual the chickadees made their presence known:

Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee

Other birds:

Long-tailed Ducks
Common Mergansers
Herring Gulls (adult and juvenile)
Mallard (female)
Common Goldeneye (female)
Gadwall (male)

Glaucous Gulls are mainly white gulls with heavy, long bills. They breed in the Arctic and winter chiefly on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. A few come into our area to winter with Herring Gulls.

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull
Long-tailed Duck (male)
Lesser Scaup
Mourning Dove
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

Species list: mallard, gadwall, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, lesser scaup, common goldeneye, common merganser, red-breasted merganser, red-tailed hawk,  ring-billed gull, herring gull. great black-backed gull, glaucous gull, mourning dove, black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, American tree sparrow.  (18 species)

NATURE POETRY

You can never do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late.    – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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