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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Red-breasted Merganser, female

While hiking down the beach to find the Ivory Gull, and despairing that it might have flown away, I came across a group of Red-breasted Mergansers feeding near shore. This female came close to shore and I paused, briefly, to photograph and enjoy her, thinking even if I don't get a photo of the Ivory Gull, at least I will have some nice photos of her. The Stone's song, "You can't always get what you want....but if you try sometime, you may find... you get what you need," was playing in my head.

I loved the way she was feeding, by putting her head down into the waves and "snorkling," looking for small fish to eat. Every once-in-awhile she would scoot faster while snorkling, racing after prey. I love the way the blown up head shot shows the water dripping off her bill and landing in one perfect splash.

Red-breasted Mergansers are a kind of diving duck who migrate from their far northern breeding grounds in Canada and AK, and winter usually in salt water habitats.

We decided to stop hiking down the beach and return to where the Ivory Gull was last seen. On our way back, it appeared out of nowhere and landed in front of us. Yeah, I got what I wanted. See photos in last post.

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