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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Springtime Visitor

I saw a small flock of these Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator) recently from the West Bay Walkway. These are the cheetahs of the air since they hold the speed record for the fastest level flight of any bird - 160 km per hour (100 mph). They're also pretty fast swimmers on the surface of the water - every time I've seen them they've seen me first and quickly paddled themselves offshore. It seems they're probably heading north to nest since I've only seen them here in the spring.

2 comments:

Dean Lewis said...

I had no idea these guys were so fast-flying.
Watching them lately in the inner harbour, they tend to do a dive much like a cormorant or loon.

Paul @ Leeds Daily Photo said...

We have mergansers here as visitors over the winter and like dean I too had no idea that they fly so fast.