Between Cloud Breaks

Not surprisingly when you only have an hour or so between showers you’re not likely to see anything particularly unusual nearby. If there were anything unusual, you would probably already have seen it.

Still, I never really tire of seeing local Horned Grebes

RstnHrndGreb

or female Red-Breasted Mergansers

femaleRdBrstd

while walking Ruston Way.

I’ve posted a shot of this less-than-common bird recently, but I did get a pretty good chance to study it on a recent walk.

Doesn'tBelong

It was hanging out with a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye, though it’s plumage makes it clear it isn’t a Barrow’s Goldeneye.

Comparing it to this male Goldeneye it was hanging around with,

maleBarws

it’s pretty clear that this is a hybrid,

GldneyeHybrid

and the black stripe running down the white breast suggests it is probably a Hooded Merganser/Goldeneye hybrid.

Since it was hanging out with Goldeneyes, I wondered if it had the same diet they had, not that of a Hooded Merganser. Unfortunately, despite spending considerable time watching it, I never did see it come up with a catch. Guess that’s something to find out on a later visit. Given our weather forecast, I’ll probably be spending much time walking locally.

One thought on “Between Cloud Breaks

  1. Seeing that hybrid makes me wonder how often that happens, and if there are particular species that more often mate with each other than with other species. And, you make me wonder how different diets are among diving ducks species. Wonderful photos and lots to think about!

What do you think?