Mackinaw Merganser

I must say, last month was a bit of a strain on my nerves. That many posts without featuring a bird is just about enough to give me a permanent twitch. The month of variety is officially in the books, so we’ll start afresh with a bird post. For those that were liking the variety, don’t fret. There are plenty of topics in the hopper and some of them just might keep you up at night! Truth be told, we have been out birding shoots for the past two weekends so the tins is plum full of new birds to feature. Problem is I’m still behind on last year’s shoots so it might be a bit before I get to these new ones – even with the upped production (not sure anyone noticed but there was like 9 posts last month). Just like in running, you can’t get to the finish line without taking a step and today we are heading back to the same place as the last post – Mackinaw Island (link here).

Well, actually unlike the last post from the mainland, these shots were taken on the island itself. We were busy biking the area and found these Common Mergansers hanging on the backside of the island.  Before I leave that last sentence I need to comment on the aspect of BIKING that island.  It probably should have been apparent, but once you get off the outer ring it is a beast of a ride.  Big kudos to Linda for toughing that out.  We headed up to the fort and to the airfield which took us some mighty steep hills.  If you choose to do this yourself, make sure you bring your own bike or minimally rent the multi-speed mountain bike.  NEVER and I mean NEVER opt for the two seater – I am very aware Linda cannot be trusted on one of those so TWO bikes was the order of the day.

One Merganser in particular caught my eye while on our last mile or so before completing the loop around the outer ring.  Based on lacking the white stripe on the neck and lighter chin the guess at the moment is a Juvi.

The reason this particular bird caught my eye is that it looked like it was in the middle of a morning workout.  Good to see the wildlife putting in the same amount of sweat we were dripping on the island that day – can’t remember the exact temperature but it was HOT.  By the time I made it off the bike and got the camera ready, the bench press and dumbbell routine was over.  Next up was the stretching portion.

This Merganser was ready for whatever the day had to offer!… well, almost there.  Nothing is better than topping off a tough workout with a little Yoga.  Not sure when it comes to Merganser Yoga, but this looks like the  Tree Pose…

… or maybe the duck Warrior Pose.  In either case – damn impressive and perfect fodder for the camera.  Eventually he dove into the cold water to rejuvenate the muscles and meet the day head on.  On retrospect, seems like a lot of work to simply float on the water all day but who am I to judge.  Having written this now I’m feeling like a slacker even though I did get a 12 mile run in yesterday and hiked another 6 miles today.  Maybe I’ll go hit the weights myself – can’t be outdone by a duck now can I?  Certainly not (although doubt that JUVI is running a half marathon next weekend heheheheh!)