On Sunday morning the pond south of Superior Drive in Northfield was still largely ice-covered. Later that day and the next, the temperatures reached well into the 50s, and at some point the ice went out. We heard reports of swans there on Tuesday and headed over there after work. No swans were to be seen, but there were 14 common mergansers, two dozen hooded mergansers (plus another four on the north pond), some short-necked Canada geese, a few mallards and a gull. There was also another pair of ducks we couldn't quite be sure of through the binoculars, but after the fact, based on my photos, we were able to be fairly sure they were ring-necked ducks.
|Male Common Merganser - so handsome; larger than a Mallard|
|Female Common Merganser|
|Probably these are Ring-necked Ducks (note sharp slope of head)|
This is one of my favorite times in the birding year, enjoying the great variety of migrating ducks that appear as soon as the ponds open up.