As I looked at the merganser decoy, I decided to square up the tail somewhat, add more curve to the neck, and reduce the height of the body somewhat to make the decoy a little more streamlined. I then finished the fine sanding of the merganser decoy and gave it a coat of grey primer.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the carving. The texture on the bark helps to define the wings. The lines are pretty good, though next time I would flatten out the tail more and reduce the size of the breast somewhat.
I used a grey primer as the wings on the female merganser are a dark grey. The head will be a rusty red, while the belly feathers are a lighter grey. I still haven't decided how I will do the eyes, or whether I will distress it some more. The body did check somewhat as it dried, so it is starting to have that whithered look.
I won't be working on this until after Christmas. I hope to be finished by New Years. Keep on the lookout for a final photo.