A link to photos of the bird described appears at the end of this entry.
The fog lifted somewhat by the time I reached Amnicola Marsh, between Chattanooga’s Amnicola Highway and the Tennessee River. There I saw a great flock of Hooded Mergansers, enough to rival those I saw at this time last year. They were accompanied by a few Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, and Canada Geese. Were the weather not cold and rainy, I would have walked around the open pond for a view from the other side.
The Hooded Mergansers swam with crests flattened, perhaps due to the rain. It was only with binoculars that I saw the white feathers atop the male’s heads. With sufficient magnification, the white chests set off by two black stripes came into view.
I was delighted to find the species present in such numbers, and on the same date. two years in a row. So long as my time remains, I should check this location for these birds on the first of the year.
Ducks return from North
Nests abandoned for winter