It is a rare occurrence but it does happen that Hooded Mergansers find their way to Newfoundland. This little guy showed up at Forest Pond about two weeks ago and seems to have settled it. It is eating well and appears healthy.
Yet, this Hooded Merganser has not taken to people. Forest Pond is a good size and this little duck stays close to the centre. I did arrive there one day and it was near the shore but as soon as it heard the car, it bolted to the middle of the pond again. This has made it very difficult to photograph him. I have visited him on four occasions and on all but one, the cloud cover was so thick that it was impossible to get a focus at such a distance.
On my last trip over the clouds were rolling past the sun allowing for some moments to be brighter than others. That was when I got the best pictures. These shots really do not do justice to this great little bird. I may get another opportunity to try again on Friday. If not, I will just have to settle on these shots for this year. When the Hooded Merganser prepares to dive, its hood disappears and his head looks smooth as in this picture.
This image shows the full hood at its finest. This is a very interesting little duck. It appears quite small next to the Black Ducks but it is 18 inches in length. It is a good thing that he has chosen to rest in a pond where there is no hunting allowed.