The common merganser is not so common in the rain forest that Aki and I patrol. We see many of the red headed variety. Today, one our way to ski, we spot a raft of both types of the merganser cousins on a stretch of open water of the otherwise still frozen Peterson Creek. We also watched a larger raft of mergansers react nervously to a hunting eagle over Amalga Harbor. Both are signs that the spring bird migration has begun.
The ski trails along Eagle River are deteriorating but by making the occasional work around we managed to reach the river. Encouraged by the two merganser sightings, I hope to spot more migrating birds here. In past springs, we watched tundra swans, geese, and a myriad of ducks rest on the river before resuming their northward flight. But not today.