Duck, Duck, Goose

I think this merganser is looking for a goose.
This Hooded Merganser is too cool for school.
This Goldeneye is feeling out of place.

Thanks to Our Eyes Open for hosting the Bird Weekly challenge and indulging my obsession. This week’s prompt is ducks and geese. The featured mallard found himself ditched.

Early Morning Recharge

The dogs stir at the first hint of daylight. I rise with them, grumbling about lack of sleep, until the sun emerges full and bright – something we haven’t seen in awhile.

“I used to be a morning person,” I say out loud. I’m am feeling the unrest of being shut in.

Ric emerges just after 7:00 am and I’m tell him I’m thinking about taking the camera out.

I drive to the centre of town, where the main street bridge crosses the river. Immediately, I spot an unfamiliar shape at the water’s edge.

Back at home, I research and find this is a Yellow Legs, although not sure whether is a Lesser or Greater. Apparently, they migrate through here.

Further down the river a pair of Mallards hover over their newborns. The shadow of an eagle passing overhead sends the family scurrying for cover.

The air is still wintry cold, but my heart is warmed by the beauty of the day. At the end of the outing, I will have encountered many different species of birds, heralding the start of warmer days. With over 400 photos to process, I am bursting with renewed energy.

Thank goodness, I didn’t just go back to bed.

Feathered Elegance

Rumours of the Tundra Swans in our neighbourhood lure us out. They migrate through here in early spring and linger for a week or two. We head to the drive along the river where the Common Mergansers are currently doing their mating dances.

Caught this female in the midst of the ritual. Love the hairdo.

Further downstream, we spotted a newcomer to town: Hooded Merganser.

Such a beautiful bird.

The swans were nowhere in sight, so we decided to drive to a nearby town. On the way, I spotted a few large white birds on a local pond:

Elegance with feathers.

( For Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt: elegance.)

Boom, Boom, Bye, Bye

I’m focusing my lens when we both hear it – duck and I – a boom, like from a cannon.

Rattled, Mallard prepares for take off, while I try to shake off the nerves and get the shot.

The boom comes again. A hunter in our midst.

This duck escapes unmarred, as I do I. Luckily.

Feathered Blessings

My sick bed – where I was confined for three years – was on the main floor, with a window at my feet. Just outside, my husband installed bird feeders – a condominium of choices to draw feathered friends.

Now, I am able to get outside, and commune with the birds in their own settings, but still, two feeders hang outside the window, and I love to sit on the porch and watch as sparrows and finches vie for a perch.

Feathered blessings never get old.