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This winter has brought some lovelies to our attention, not all of them easily identified.

Here is someone new on the scene this year, the Mandarin Duck from Northern China. Rare here, and shockingly beautiful in person.

His bride is far less colorful but nonetheless possessed of a delicate beauty.

The first picture below is of the Common Merganser in winter coloration. Is the second the same but shedding to reveal the deep green spring coloration? I don't know.

The Hooded Merganser is equally interesting, hood up or hood down.

Male and female He created them; frankly, I think He did a far better job on the spritely Bufflehead female than on her more colorful partner. We saw hundreds of these little birds floating and diving on the Columbia River this winter.

Who doesn't love a Mallard? This male is so proud and the lady so sweet as to capture your heart, if not your palate.

The Ringnecks - male and female - have made regular appearances although their difference in appearance is startling. Only the bill stripe and feather top enhance their resemblance.

We saw Gadwalls earlier -- and coots

But I think my favorites are still the Wood Ducks.

It's been fun this winter seeing all that we can see and sharing it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

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