photo of the day (the sound in winter)
I don’t think about going to the Sound so much in the Winter but there wasn’t anything inland that was inspiring me to take any pictures. So when Clare and I headed to Westport on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to run some errands, I decided to make a stop at Longshore and see if I could get my creative juices flowing. It was the last day of Clare’s Christmas break and I think both of us wanted to do something fun to mark the day.
We parked in our usual spot and headed towards the beach.There were no boats in the water at the Marina and at first, I thought there wasn’t much in the way of wildlife either. I was very wrong. There were seagulls, Canadian Geese, and Mallard Ducks. By the pool off in the distance, I could see a pair of swans making their way up the beach towards the Marina. I thought about heading after them but they were swimming in the other direction too fast and I knew they’d be gone by the time I got to their side.
I took some pictures and Clare started to throw rocks into the water. The splashing noise attracted the attention of some ducks and a few seagulls. But seeing as she wasn’t offering food, they kept their distance. Now, just so you know, I don’t often feed wildlife when I see any. But for some reason, today was different. It’s winter after all and a tough time to get a meal. Clare and I had been to Trader Joe’s just before we came to the park and so there was a loaf of fresh bread in the car. Yes, I know, not the best meal for birds but hey, it’s what we had to offer.
At first, no one would come very close. We tossed a few pieces of bread in the water and then moved to a spot a little further away from the water to see if we could encourage anyone to take a piece or two. Then slowly a few brave seagulls and a duck or two ventured close enough to grab a piece of bread. And as they started to get braver and braver, I noticed the swans moving closer as well.
Soon we had quite a crowd of ducks, swans and seagulls, all vying for a tasty snack.
If you’ve read my blog before, especially my posts from over the summer months, you might know that one of my biggest thrills is discovering a bird that I’ve never come across before. And this trip to Longshore proved fruitful in that department. My best guess is that these are Common Mergansers.
Unfortunately, only opportunite to take a picture was shooting into the sun and so the backlighting makes it hard to see his coloration and markings very well. So if you have any ideas about what kind of bird this is, feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
We fed and watched the birds for a little while longer. I didn’t want to over feed them and I didn’t want to use up all our bread so when Clare started complaining of the cold, we packed it up and headed for home. There was dinner to prepare and school to get ready for and it was already late.
We threw a last piece of bread into the water, said our goodbyes and headed for home.