On workdays, I can take a short walk along the Chicago River downtown sometimes in the early afternoon, weather permitting. Invariably there are always a few gulls. Herring Gulls watched over the river all winter, and now the Ring-Billed Gulls like the one above are coming in. I have decided it can’t hurt me to get better acquainted with them.
With the change of seasons other birds show up as well. Last week one day there were about twenty Red-Breasted Mergansers. I first followed one female fishing alone in the water right outside my office building.
When she took off in a northerly direction, I followed her and soon found the rest of the group. Several of the males were hanging around together.
Also going on the last couple weeks, demolishment of the General Growth Properties building. The low-rise structure broke up the dominant high-rise footprint but predictably, a huge development devoted to office space is going in its place.
It was nice to see the Red-Breasted Mergansers well one more time before they take off for their northern breeding grounds. They were busy disappearing quickly into the water for fish, and try as hard as I might, I could never capture the actual dive.
The light made interesting reflections on the water and the buildings. I have to wonder how it looks to the gulls that navigate this corridor daily.
Below is one of the Canada Geese that likely breed somewhere along the river this time of year. I keep thinking I see the same couple every year, in which case I imagine this could be the gander who swam off too far from wherever his beloved is nesting while patrolling the river, and is in a hurry to get back.
We are still enduring a blustery chill, but the sun is out today, at least for a while before the cloud cover comes back and the predicted rain will turn to snow. I doubt there will be much accumulation, and we may finally get a spring warm up toward the middle of next week. Migrant passerines are starting to show up, the cardinals were engaged in a sing-off this morning, and I am thankful life still has a reset button.