Bird #117 — Red-breasted Merganser

mergus (a diver) serrator (one who saws, a sawyer)

Monday, March 24, 1980 — 4:00 pm

Wilmette, Illinois — Gillson Park — Lake Michigan

Shortly after I started working at Moody Distribution in Northbrook, both Dave and Larry began working there part-time.  On several occasions, we took off after work and drove to the lake for some quick birding.  Sally was never crazy about me doing this, as she was stuck at home with my parents all day.  In retrospect, it wasn’t fair of me to do it as often as I did.

At Gillson Park, we parked on the street, as we always did.  (Wilmette is an exclusive suburb, and you aren’t allowed to park in their city parks without a resident sticker.)  As we walked toward the lake, we spotted Red-breasted Mergansers swimming and diving in the harbor.  I knew what they were and ran down to the edge of the water to get a better look.  I didn’t need to run.  They passively swam around the harbor for the entire hour we were there and paid us no attention whatsoever.

The harbor is no wider than 60 yards across at its widest point, and I got a great look at these very pretty birds.

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