Red Breasted Mergansers
Dave Cheetham (July)
Here you can see the female red breasted Merganser with her five young. Their swimming lesson was fascinating to watch. For over half an hour they swam around in the same little section of fast flowing river, repeating a definite pattern. They reminded me very much of our white water kayaking courses as the birds practiced breaking in and out of the eddies.
Also like the paddlers, the Merganser has a history of conflict with game fishermen. A member of the sawbill family, Mergansers use thier long serrated beaks to catch fish and consider salmon and trout a welcome delicacy.