Drake Goosander

Drake goosanderA group of Goosanders, known as Common Mergansers in North America, winter in East Park regularly. The drakes have a unique pale plumage, with orange and pinkish hues, that appears to glow, and makes them distinctive from a long distance. Drakes can change the shape of their dark iridescent green head noticeably fluffing up their feathers: when flattened they have anĀ almost cormorant-like profile, but when fluffed up, their head bulges at the front and at the back, with a prominent bun. As they start to pair up and display at this time of year, with ritualised head shaking and drinking, and speed chases making they look like little motor boats, they are a fascinating wintering species to watch in our local area. A pencil and ink pen sketch.