Monday, January 31, 2011
We took a quick outing to open-water areas on the Mississippi at Prescott, Wis., and Hastings, Minn., yesterday. Common mergansers, a large (21-28", slightly larger than mallards), handsome diving duck with the typical long, narrow merganser bill, were present in groups of a dozen to several dozen. Among them we saw a small number of common goldeneyes, another diving duck, not as large (15.7-20"), and notable for its black head, round white cheek patch and, yes, golden eyes. At Prescott we saw no bald eagles, but several could be seen in the air and trees near the Hastings bridge. My son took the photo above (and cropped, below) from our viewing point under the Wisconsin side of the bridge.