Photo of the Week 9

Female Common Merganser and Chicks

Normally it is very difficult to choose an image for the photo of the week. Either I have gotten multiple Good Photos throughout the week, or the fact that I have such a backlog that I hem and I haw about which I should choose. Fortunately for you, dropbox has taken a shit this morning, so you are stuck with this pic that I already had uploaded. This is a very special image to me – it is the first time I have seen a duck with chicks on their back. Loons famously do this (not a duck, but still), and I had no idea that other species did as well.

I took this while we were up at Tawas Point State Park this summer, and the Sandy Hook Trail has never disappointed. (Read more about that trip here in some multi-part posts in the Trip Report section.) Typically famous for being a migration hot spot, it has served us very well during our height-of-summer trips.

I remember that I saw the look on Mia’s face first before I saw the mergansers myself. I was in the middle of bemoaning the fact that I had run out of card space on my camera, having to delete old pics in the middle of our walk, when she interrupted me with a gasp and look of surprise – hands to the mouth and everything. What rarity is she seeing?! Lo and behold! This common merganser and so. many. babs.

They would take turns clamoring onto their mother, before she would dart off for them to chase. Eventually they all started feeding, her diving down, and them trying their best behind her. We sat on the beach-trail and watched transfixed, other beachgoers oblivious to the adorable spectacle just off shore.

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