Merganser Gathering

Around sunset Melissa, Connor and I went for a walk down to the beach. It was only a little after the low tide so there was plenty of beach to walk on. We made our way to the park and walked through it to get to the Indian River estuary. Perhaps due to the fact that the tide was fairly low, we did not see many birds along the river near the trail. (When the tide is in, the salt water comes very near to the trail, but when it is out, there is only river and tide flats.) However, out just past the mouth of the river (now a good distance out on the tide flats), we could see many birds. Connor and I ventured across the flats to see what they were and found that they appeared to be a large flock (at least 30) consisting mainly of common mergansers. When I have visited the estuary previously in recent days, I had seen at most 3 mergansers. Each of those visits was earlier in the day, so I wonder if perhaps they disperse for the day to feed and gather together in the evening.

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