Red-breasted Mergansers and a Common Loon

Red-breasted Mergansers are a bit unusual in Hutchinson Co, although I’ve seen a few each winter since I started birding in 2011.  For the last week or so there have been 3 females on the main pond at Spring Canyon keeping company with a Common Loon.

I like taking photos at Spring Canyon for several reasons.  On still days the water reflects the colors of the grass and reeds, the canyon walls, and the wide open sky to create spectacular backdrops for the birds.  The ponds are small with lots of hiding places for the birds and for me.  It’s partially protected from the predominant winds around here, southwest in the summer and north in the winter, and the early morning sun shines down the length of the canyon (actually it’s the Canadian River Valley on the northeast side of the Lake Meredith dam) giving me great early morning light.  The ponds are fed by a natural spring and there is also a long slough that is filled with seep water collected from under the dam.

Conditions were about as perfect as they get one morning earlier this week and I got a few nice shots of the Red-breasted Merganser females.

Red-breasted Merganser (46) (1024x639) Red-breasted Merganser (39) (1024x684) Red-breasted Merganser (31) (1024x687)

 

Here’s the Common Loon.  In these first photos taken a couple of weeks ago the bird is injured.Common Loon (31) (1024x626) Common Loon (36) (1024x685)

These photos, taken this week, are either of a different bird or the injured one healed quickly.Common Loon (43) (1024x600) Common Loon (42) (1024x692)

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