Down by the River

I went to the Merrimack River for a walk and photographed some of the ducks enjoying the ice-free waters. Buffleheads seem to be found where there is open water and today was no exception. The males appear to be black and white but there are hints of iridescent color on their heads in the right light. The females are black and grey but have a large white cheek patch.

A lone female Bufflehead.

A pair of Hooded Mergansers swam together in the middle of the river. They have their hood shaped crests on display.

As is typical for birds, the male is the more colorful.

Three types of Mergansers can be found here in Massachusetts. All have crests with the exception of the male Common Merganser. No hood. No “spikey coif” like Red-breasted Mergansers or female Common Mergansers.

There were several Common Goldeneye on the far side of the river.

The largest group of ducks on the river that day were Ring-necked Ducks.

A female Bufflehead ended up in the middle of a raft of Ring-necked Ducks as the two groups swam around preening and diving.

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