Monday, March 1, 2010

Along the Scioto River

Monday, March 1, 2010
Yesterday a handful of intrepid souls gathered along the Scioto River on the Whittier Peninsula in Columbus, Ohio to look for waterfowl. Nearly everything we saw was fairly distant and most of the river was frozen, which limited the numbers and variety of birds. We did spook a small flock of hooded mergansers, however, and I was reminded anew how stunning the males are.

Of course I was armed only with my ancient digiscoping rig and the light was pretty poor. I did manage to get a shot of one male along the far riverbank, and upon downloading it to my computer, I could see that its value as a bird photo was minimal. Its value as a seasonal snapshot however is fairly solid. The male hooded merganser with his crest up, the snowy bank behind him, the choppy water, and the bare tree branches all say "later winter/early spring" to me.

It's been such a rough winter weather-wise that it seems many of us are grasping and squinting for any small sign that spring will, in fact, come again. On a freezing cold day along the Scioto, I got a good sign of spring's promise from this lone male merganser.


On March 1, 2010 at 6:39 PM cyberthrush said...

Male Hoodies are my favorite waterfowl -- their shape and pattern of earth colors bestows more sheer simple elegance than that of the gaudier or flashier ducks; always a treat.

On March 2, 2010 at 12:00 PM BrendaC said...

Definitely! I never tire of seeing Hooded mergansers, both male and female are stunning!

On March 2, 2010 at 12:07 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

That would make a nice painting.