Even from a distance as I took my shortcut from Main Street under the bridge along the creek I knew these three water fowl were neither the common mallards I’m accustomed to nor the geese I’d seen earlier. Being able to look through a telephoto lens is almost as good as having binoculars sometimes—the crunchy snow and ice on the ground made quite a bit of noise and the birds, whatever they were, might easily be startled and take off before I was close enough to get a good photo.
These are taken at 300mm, and from a distance of about 50 yards, but I knew those mohawks were something special! And the long thin beaks and red eyes. I took as many photos as I could and looked them up in my bird guide as soon as I got home and found they looked like the entry for red-breasted mergansers. A cross-check with a wildlife biologist confirmed it.
They are far more common on larger or deeper bodies of water like lakes and rivers, not 18″ deep Chartiers Creek, but I was glad to welcome them here and actually get photos of their visit.
. . . . . . .
For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.