First the loss. The raft of common mergansers were on the lower river again this morning, and it is tricky to count them all because of their movement and the convoluted topography of the river bank, but I’m sure there are at least a dozen or more, with roughly three to four females per male. Two different females had fish again today, and they both struggled a bit to get them lined up right, without using hands of course, just like soccer.
The first one appeared to fend off another hungry merganser successfully, who perhaps was just trying to help, but the second one was forced to give up the goods when threatened by, what looks to be, a herring gull. That’s right, this gull hovered, perhaps tried or threatened to peck, the merganser dove empty-billed, the gull snagged the fish, and here’s my best shot of the results, through the brush. The gull gulped down the fish pretty quickly, at least it didn’t go to waste.
Why they don’t arrange to stage these dramatic scenes where I can get a better view is anyone’s guess. Surely they understand that its all about the clicks these days, right? Anyway, based on the number of mergansers I’ve been seeing with fish lately, we can have a hope that there are plenty more fish in the river. The trick it seems is getting them into the belly.
Now, the love. We first saw a lone female goldeneye on the lower river back on January 23, and I’ve wondered repeatedly since then why she stays there, day after day, while the guys, as many as three of them at a time, stay on the upper river. Well, today it appears that we have our first love connection. Yay! Or maybe its just lunch. Time will tell, eh?
We wish the young couple much success in any case.
Finally, I spotted a little rascal by the pond today whom we haven’t seen in months, since the summer.
That’s right, our elusive little pal, the very energetic red squirrel. He made at least three trips from the top of the willow tree to the ground and back while I attempted to capture a descent likeness.
So I guess that’s a lunch found. Talk about a happy ending.