Friday, January 3, 2014


I found a couple of New Year's Day surprises while out birding the Grand River on Wednesday.  The first was a meganser which at first I assumed was a Common.  After about five minutes, I realized that its bill was long and thin like a Red-breasted's.  So, I finally wiped the frozen fog (that's right) off my binoculars and took a closer look.  Lo and behold, it was indeed a Red-breasted!  Quite a surprise on an inland shallow river.
Hatch-year male Red-breasted Merganser.  A big surprise to find on 
the Grand River, since the species prefers much deeper lakes and rivers.
The next bird was even better, hanging out with the enormous flock of Mallards at Moores Park.  He was the smallest and most adorable bird there, and wow, was he a treat to see on such a bone-chilling winter day!  He was a charming male Wood Duck, a completely unexpected sight in the dead of winter.
Male Wood Duck.  Adorable, wouldn't you agree?
Oh, I forgot to mention the point-blank views.

Happy New Year, everyone!  Have yourself a very birdy 2014!

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