It was a quiet morning on the river.
I had been thinking that we had not seen any ducks on the river yet this year and around the corner came a pair of Common Goldeneye. They were moving so quickly that I do not have one shot of the two of them together, looking at me… but nice to see them back.
The Otter were back on the ice down at the bend. A better shot today but hard to get any detail at the distance. No way of knowing if this is the same couple who were down river yesterday.
Three Geese greeted us with loud cackling...... things heated up quickly!
Two were obviously scuffling over a female.
After this confrontation one male took off with the other in hot pursuit…. Leaving the little lady unprotected.
Next thing we knew she was huddling close to the two Swans. I would think a very safe place, considering the eagle was sitting in his perch down river. One thing I found interesting as I watched the three of them, is how long the Swans can keep their heads under water eating. I have not timed them but I would wager a minute.
After a bit the males returned and one took up position guarding the female.
While we were watching the mating ritual in front of us; down river another “beginning” was happening. This is a terrible picture as they were a long way down river but such a sweet moment to share.
We had noticed two Otters at their regular eating hole about the time we spotted the Eagle watching the Geese. And them after the Geese had sorted out their triangle, we realized the Otter were still out on the ice. Always conscious of predators, they don’t usually spend extended periods in one spot on the ice. But it was now almost a half hour the two of them had been on the ice. We called a well-known trapper and long time nature observer in the area, John Bartley, to confirm our suspicions… This is mating time for Otter; with the pups to arrive early May. John shared that she would take over an old Beaver house to raise her pups. (There is an abandoned beaver house on the opposite shore from where we saw the Otter this morning. ) John also told us that Otter pups do not know how to swim at first. The Mom teaches them. He said early May be looking for Mom and babies to emerge. She will have the babies on her back. (I have never been fortunate enough to see that…… but maybe this May on one of the Whiteshell streams or rivers. )
This morning about 9:30am we spotted this wolf 1/4 mile down river.. (the sun did not co-operate so I have just a black shape against the sparkling ice). He/She came out of the forest right where we saw the Otter yesterday. It sniffed around the area and then sauntered across the river. Once it reached the other shore it dissipated, totally camouflaged in the grasses.