As you may have gathered by now my camera was loaded with pictures taken on November 11, 2011. Many people felt lucky-in-love and got married on that date. Others like me chose to spend the day with a favorite pass time, birding. It did turn out to be a lucky day for me.
After seeing more birds than anticipated at Harbour Grace, my friend and I drove back toward St. John's via the scenic route. Along the way we stopped at Clarke's Beach and I got my best look at a lone Common Merganser swimming relatively close to shore. This is one of those birds that typically stays out of camera range and as soon as they see a person along the shoreline, they slowly but steadily move farther away.
This was not the case last Friday. This single Common Merganser may have been in the area a while and developed a sense of confidence around people because while it was not close to shore it was closer than usual.
We had a great chance to look at it as it swam in the sunlight and stayed in the area.
Further up the inlet we found two Red-breasted Mergansers that were exhibiting more typical behaviour. They really didn't want to come close at all. Nevertheless, they were close enough for us to compare the two species. Having seen them together like this for the first time really helped me to distinguish their differences.
Every little encounter such as this continues to layer on experience that will be useful in identifying birds in the future. As a birder I can never get too much experience.