The first fall migrants have arrived. Today (10/28), I spotted three hooded mergansers, two female and one male, on the far side of the wetlands. One or two typically show up during the last week in October, sometimes a week or so earlier, but certainly by the first week in November.
As in other years, the mergs usually get right down to the business of pair bonding upon arrival in their winter quarters. As other males arrive, and should they decide to stay in our wetland, keep an eye out for male mergansers strutting their stuff in their attempts to impress the females.
The mergansers eat fish, aquatic insects, amphibians, crayfish and other aquatic creatures as well as some unspecified aquatic vegetation. If they find the food offerings satisfactory you should be able to view the handsome ducks at various locations around the wetlands, including but not exclusively, from the boardwalk and Main Wetlands Overlook.