On Thursday the 31st I took off after work and went out to do a bit of birding, my first stop was Black Dog Lake. This trip to Black Dog was a bit more exciting then the last couple because I had a new subject to photograph. A pair of hooded mergansers was swimming in the river near where one of the channels enters from the lake.
Hooded mergansers are not uncommon or rare but I was still pretty pumped. Even though I love taking pictures of eagles and trumpeter swans, I have really been looking forward to a little more variety.
The hooded merganser can be found only in North America. It is the smallest species of merganser in North America and the second smallest of the six species world wide. It is a diving duck that uses its clear nictitating membrane to protect its open eyes so that it can see underwater to hunt for fish.
The hooded merganser was one of the last birds that I saw leave this area to migrate. I am hoping that seeing them return is a sign that the spring migration may soon begin.