Gray Raily Day & C Merg


Brian Fitch
 

I went to Lake Merced this morning, but the birds were extremely quiet early on.  After sitting out the brief rain under a leafless willow, I went back out onto the northeast corner of the concrete bridge, where the rails came out to play.  A Sora and a Virginia had a short conversation which seemed to work well, as they passed quite close to each other without hostility.  The Sora then climbed up onto the large patch of fallen tules and spent several minutes feeding on them in full view.  At one point it did a quick flap and hop maneuver that I've seen sparrows do when they want something just out of reach, but this was a first for me with rails.  Upon checking the south side of the bridge, another Sora was along the shore there as well. 

Up at the wooden bridge, another Virginia was directly below on the southeast.  But the highlight was the merganser, especially as Common Merganser was the only bird on my "even slightly expectable list" that I did not see in the city last year.  This bird lifted off the water out of view from me and I first saw it flying away low toward the ocean.  It was distant, but the wing patches looked good for Common, and I begged the bird to turn back toward me.  It pulled a U-turn and flew directly toward and over me on the bridge, showing the marks I wanted to see, a female type Common.  It then flew to the far east end of the lake, did another 180, and flew back west at some altitude and then north out of sight.

Brian Fitch