Thursday, December 10, 2009

Icy morning, Green Lake

A week into the cold snap, Green Lake was fringed with ice, and had big rafts of ice floating in the middle.

Hooded mergansers were putting on a great show in the willows on the east side of the lake. I spotted some males grunting and arching their necks at each other. Also, one female, who caught a large fish, had to evade all the others in her flock of 16 birds in order to swallow it. She managed.

Here's a splendid male.

Here's the biggest find of the day, a young green heron, perched discreetly in a willow. Too discreetly for my liking.

As usual, I could see it better than I could photograph it.

One of these wigeon is not like the others...

It's a Eurasian wigeon, likely visiting for the winter from Siberia, making it more exotic than the American wigeon that make up the rest of the flock. They breed in boring old North America.

And here is a lovely common merganser. Also seen: northern shovelers in full breeding regalia, three ruddy ducks and a common goldeneye.

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