Red-Breasted Extravaganser

Red-Breasted Merganser

Red-Breasted Merganser

I went a different route at lunch yesterday, after realizing halfway to the park I’d forgotten the peanuts (can’t go out empty-handed). So after walking back to work to fetch my bag and start out again, I decided to try the Chicago River riverwalk to see how it’s faring, because Millennium Park soon will be too crowded and too crazy to visit every day, come warmer weather and passerine migration.

Not a lot to see yet on the way out to the lakefront, save the tile artwork inside the underpass that goes beneath Lake Shore Drive,

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but when I got down to the harbor, there were Red-Breasted Mergansers everywhere.

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There may have been a couple Coots, but it was otherwise Red-Breasted Merganserland.  Except for people walking in the other direction which sometimes spooked the Mergansers,

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I got close enough for some nice shots which is always lucky with the smaller lens and the 40D (my workday gear).

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The female Red-Breasted Merganser below struggled quite a bit with her catch, until finally it was down the hatch.

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On the way back, past Millennium’s north sculpture garden, I got a preview of the new exhibit.  Colorful. Don’t know how the migrants will like it…

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but it should attract a lot of people.