So I caught these travelers one snowy overcast Saturday afternoon.
As they approached from upstream of a small creek, I was perplexed as to what type of duck I was seeing. My first impression was that they were very small but they couldn't be ducklings at this time of the year.
And as they got closer, I could make out their "hoods" and as they proceeded to dive into the water, I thought "mergansers".
From what I could ascertain from The Cornell Lab's "All About Birds" website, Hooded Mergansers breeding West of the Rocky Mountains migrate west and south to the Pacific. They are late Fall migrants, sometimes moving just ahead of Winter ice.
These two were certainly cutting it close. Soon within the next week or so, the creeks in this area of Calgary will be frozen solid, with the only open water being the Bow River. And that small white substance in the photos is snow!
With their elongated heads shaped by their hoods, they almost seem to resemble some alien presence out of the "Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" movie. :)
If you would like to view more information on "Hooded Mergansers, you can check out the following website by The Cornell Birds Lab or just search the internet for "All About Birds" website from The Cornell Birds Lab.