Sunday, February 22, 2009

Parkin' it.

Back to the park! First, a shot of the Shovelers again. This time I was able to get Mrs. Shoveler with her beak out of the water. It seems that a lot of the Shovelers' time is spent spinning in slow circles and sucking stuff (food, I assume) out of the water. The female looks an awful lot like a female Mallard until you see the beak. Also, they are slightly smaller, but you really have to see them together before that's apparent.

The duck-type wimminfolk really got the short end of the looks stick, in most cases. Not all, however! Out in the middle of the big lake (which is way too far, really, for our lens) there was something we hadn't seen before. These pictures are really far away, but once we got home, I looked them up and these are female Common Mergansers. Not, you know, exotic, just common, but we hadn't seen them before. One of my bird books says this is the only Merganser in North America where the female is crested and the male is not. So now you know too.

When I first opened up the pictures, I thought we'd gotten three new types of birds. Nope. The white birds with black heads are male Mergansers. There's one female here, she's the one that looks like a punk rocker. But behind the Mergansers, there are two Double-crested Cormorants. Cool! So here's this flock of stuff we haven't seen before, waaaay out in the middle of the lake where we can't get good pictures.

Another shot of some Cormorants.

Since the park was pretty busy and these guys showed no inclination to leave the middle of the lake, we decided we'd head out and come back early Sunday. I'll put those pictures in another post, but I'll leave you with a couple more.

I've mentioned before I'm partial to coots, but this guy was pretty funny. He was standing on his little hummock stomping his foot. I don't know what he was doing, but it was surprisingly loud.

There's nothing at all special about the geese in this picture, but I loved the light in this one.

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