We've been visiting the Superior Drive pond on the southeast edge of town frequently lately to see the ducks that are passing through southern Minnesota on their spring migration. This must be quite a deep pond, as diving ducks are commonly seen here. Last spring there were even loons on the pond for a period of time.
There have been several pairs of northern shovelers, easily recognizable even at a distance by their uniquely heavy bills and the big areas of green, white and rust on the male. The shot above isn't great, but it's the best I could get through the scope today since the ducks kept moving.
Here is a male hooded merganser -- again, not a perfect shot, but clearly showing the distinguishing features, including the very thin bill, the big white spot on the large black head, and the striking black and white stripes on the tawny body. I have been seeing a pair of these on the Cannon River in downtown Northfield all week, but this was the first time I'd managed a passable shot through the scope.
This was an unexpected shot. I'd been focused on this charming little pair of buffleheads when a shoveler splashed in for a landing right behind them. What a difference in size there is between them; the shoveler looks like a moose in comparison!