What’s good: Merganser and chicks

A Common Merganser and her chicks on the Ottauquechee River in Woodstock, Vermont.

I was driving along the Ottauquechee River this afternoon just west of Woodstock, Vermont, when I saw a Common Merganser sitting on a rock with some chicks. The road was about 20 feet above the river and the bank was pretty much straight down. I found a place I could climb down with my big lens and monopod. I thought I was far enough away that I wouldn’t scare them but when I finally got to the river I saw them floating down the river away from me. I climbed back up the bank and drove downstream to see if I could find them again. There wasn’t any access to the river until I got to a trailer park, so I drove in and found a place I could get to the river. The merganser was right there with her chicks. She seemed pretty nervous and stayed on the other side of the river and hid under a boulder. I sat quietly and they finally relaxed and came out and swam down the river.

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