Military, because one of my favorite pictures from this walk was a guy showing off his new pair of epaulettes – I really felt I should snap to attention and salute! Instead I just snapped a picture and like all the pictures here, click it and you’ll get a much larger version.
And if that wasn’t enough, out at the south end we had this beautiful flight of Red-breasted Mergansers go by and Don watched them and the first word out of his mouth was “Blue Angels.” And darned if he wasn’t right. When I got home and looked at the pictures, there was a resemblance to the profile of the F-18 Hornet the Navy Blue Angels fly. Check out the last of the series – I put in an insert.
I say they’re “Red-Breasted” rather than Common Mergansers, first because the Red-Breasted is common around Gooseberry in the winter – and the Common Merganser prefers fresh water. But the white ring around the neck – clearly visible if you enlarge the pictures – makes me positive. The Common has a dark head and then is mostly white underneath.
These pictures don’t do the description justice, but I have to tell you what Pete Dunne has to say in his “Essential Field Guide Companion” because the guy’s words are worth a thousand pictures!
Description: A duck that looks like it was dressed out of a trunk found in the attic. . . . Adult male is striking, bordering on outrageous (easily distinguished from male Common Merganser by its dark breast and spiky “punk cut” crest.). . .
Flight: Profile is slender and long-necked, with long, pointy wings – more spindly than Common merganser.
We also saw our second seal – this one was swimming to the southwest and kept pace with our walking ashore. (Second in the sense that we saw two or three a week or two ago.)
And we did not see any new shore birds! We have been assured the endangered Piping Plovers are nesting there in the protected area – but we have yet to see one in three or four trips. They do have a wonderful way of blending in with the rocks. So do the Dunlins – who are wonderfully tame, but you need to nearly stumble across them to see them. See Exhibit A below, then Exhibit B – both pictures have loads of Dunlins int hem!.
There were Warblers, too – talk about invisible!~ These little guys flit quickly from branch to branch, fool the auto-focus 75% of the time, and even when you capture something you only have a vague idea what it is. Case in point.
These guys are sure tempting – but they also can drive you crazy and make you love the Blue Angels – which are no more difficult to identify than say, well, a red-winged black bird or Red-breasted Merganser!
The Eiders, incidentally, have pretty much paired up and the males are looking great with that delicate touch of green on their heads.