Oh, happy day: A hooded merganser is here!!!
We were planning on going to the Meadowlands to see migrating ducks. However, Chris glanced out the window and saw what she thought was the bufflehead. When she got the binoculars, she was ecstatic that our favorite fancy duck was back: the hooded merganser. Sometimes it's hard to spot the small ducks with white among the geese. We have many false alarms due to the white on the geese's rear.
It was a lone male, and we spent some time watching to see if any others would join him. Last year, the female mergansers often arrived a while after the males. They were probably busy doing their hair.
When we spotted a small duck flying overhead, we were so happy to think his mate would join him. When it landed, it turned out to be a female green-winged teal. He did swim over to greet her, and they interacted some the whole day.
We do like the way that the shape of the white area on his head changes. It even looks like a heart sometimes and its reflection looks like a square other times...
We got nothing done and sustained ourselves on leftover Halloween candy all day.