While working very hard to get a Common Yellowthroat to show itself in the St. John's area last week, we had a real unexpected treat. Over our shoulders in flew of flock of 16 female Common Mergansers and set down in the water just ahead of us.
It was my closest encounter with Common Mergansers, and I have never seen so many so tightly grouped.
We gradually inched our way around the corner and caught sight of them sitting very briefly on the water. Note the Belted Kingfisher sitting in the background not at all bothered by the commotion.
Within a minute they decided to move on. In a flash they sprung into the air and left us staring in awe.
Common Mergansers are common in Newfoundland but I have since learned that a sighting such as this in the St. John's area is not very common at all. What brought them here and where did they go? Let's hope they found their way to some place a safe distance from the indiscriminate fire of rifles.
This was just one more unexpected moment that Nature offered up. Almost every trip to the great outdoors brings some awe-inspiring experience that serves as a reminder that the greatest things in life are free.