Ours is a riparian existence. But this is our first full winter here. Our usual “escape” to Cuba has not taken place this year. But we are enjoying our time, which seems to be passing quickly. We’ve had grey days for sure; but when the sun comes out it is truly glorious.
And we have enjoyed watching the water life, as we do all year round. We do not see the seals, nor have we seen the dolphins that occasionally entertain us in the summer and autumn. And we have not witnessed any of the very large fish jumping high out of the water. But the birds have provided great entertainment.
Several weeks ago, we noticed two loons, then four, then eight swimming close to our shore. They are bearing their nondescript winter coats. We have seen them before in the late fall and early spring, when their coat is more appealing. They will fly to the abundant fresh water lakes in the late spring, once the ice is out.
More recently we have enjoyed an ever growing flock of Mergansers swimming and diving off our shore. There must be an abundance of fish in this location.
What has amused us most, however, are the gulls and, in particular, their reaction to this infestation of ducks. The gulls seem incensed that these birds are feeding here. They land among them, harass them and even fly up briefly into the air and swoop down on them. But their targets easily dive out of reach, as a large hawk watches from a tree top at the shore.
We are not entirely sure that this act of the gulls is aggression. It is possible they are simply trying to get the scraps of the fish these intruders are feasting on. Regardless, it is great amusement to idle minds on a lazy, sun-drenched winter afternoon.