Monday, November 27, 2006

A nice surprise

Lorelei and I went to Lake Isabella today just to kill some time. While Lorelei plunked stones into the lake, I scanned the far side for birds. And I saw some ducks all the way over there, and thought, "oh, look, some buffleheads...never seen them here before."

But that ID didn't feel right. These ducks had alot of white on them, and there were also some others with brown heads.
I grabbed my field guide...
Not buffleheads.
HOODED MERGANSERS.
*Susan does the happy dance...Boom shaka laka laka, boom shaka laka laka*


I tried and tried to get closer so I could get better pictures, but the lake is shaped in a way that you can't get to certain places, which was exactly where the mergansers were. Water birds are so fussy.


The brown-headed ones turned out to be females. I have heard that female ducks are sometimes as hard as sparrows to ID, but it was the female mergansers that helped me ID these.



I didn't mean to get a shot like this, but the guy on the shore is taking a leak.
Hee hee...sorry, dude!



I'm happy. Life bird number 105!

9 comments:

your witty husband, Mr. Hilarity said...

Hooded mergansers? I think you're mistaken. I don't even see them wearing a hat.
[Here's where you can pretend you've just heard the sound of a rim shot on the drum.]

LauraHinNJ said...

Hoodies! They're cool ducks. The guy watering the shrubbery is not.

Mary said...

Susan, I wish I had the enthusiasm about hooded mergansers more than I do about your "Boom Shaka laka laka" dance :) I want to make more time in the day to walk the park - your photos are so beautiful. I wonder if the guy peeing knew his picture would be plastered over the internet? LOL!

NatureWoman said...

Congrats Susan - doing the Happy Dance with you! Hee hee, you didn't *mean* to catch the guy takin' a leak, r-i-g-h-t. That's what he gets for doin' it right out in the open!

Anonymous said...

Two steps foreward and he'd have been in the woods, peeing in private- Oh well, at least he turned his back. EEEeewww.

Your life list is climbing fast girl!! Congrats!

-llm. said...

Coolness! Last year, some buffleheads were at my inlaws' pond and everytime I'd snap a picture, they'd dive. So aggravating! But nothing like the Black Crested Night Heron that showed up there in juvie plummage (that's a hard ID by the way) and stayed until he was dressed in his gorgeous tux. I got shots of him where you just have to pat me on the head and say "Sure there's a bird in there, Liza, uh-huh?" Sigh. *I* know he's in there but man can they hide! Finally got him in all his glory but it was tough!

mon@rch said...

So glad to hear about your Hooded Mergs being liver 105!! They are very fun birds to watch and hope they are able to visit you more! Keep up the wonderful blogs!

Patrick Belardo said...

One of my favorite ducks! I'm sure that guy would be thrilled to know he made it online.

Hoodies have one of the fastest wingbeats of the ducks. It's a good way to pick them out in flight.

Endment said...

What a great bird to add to your life list --- and what a great time I have had reading your post --- hope you had as much fun writing it :)