Had to go for a walk today around Big Pond. No really. It was required. Had to check something out for the DEC. It was chilly, but not uncomfortably so. There were hundreds of ducks, lots of geese, and a handful of swans. My favorites were the Hooded Mergansers. Of course, I couldn’t get close enough with my lens, so I’m borrowing this picture from Tom:
There were probably at least 20 on Spatterdock Pond, along with a big flock of Wood Ducks. Ducks are so skitterish… I was pretty far back in the woods and I still managed to spook them to the other side of the pond!
The Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) dives underwater to hunt for fish. Like the Wood Duck, it nests in holes in trees. The female is brownish. The male can lift the hood to present a very large white circle.