Birds in what’s left of the Loop parks have all but vanished, the lake is still frozen, and so I have been walking along the Chicago River lately for my afternoon break.
Although there’s nothing really new going on, it’s still amazing to see so many Red-Breasted Mergansers and White-Winged Scoters in the river.
This scoter swam below me for a while and then she dove for something.
It’s fairly easy to get to the junction where the branches of the river meet. On my last visit there were more Herring Gulls than the usually ubiquitous Ring-Billed.
At one point two Herring Gulls got into a match over a fish. If nothing else this proves there is something to eat even in the Chicago River (and it’s not from the fancy restaurants alongside it). I have seen huge carp, perhaps the invasive Asian species, sometimes surface in the spring, but nothing that spectacular lately. However if you click on the images below you can almost see what the gull on the left has in his beak.
The Riverwalk below street level doesn’t extend along one entire side yet, but there is a sign that looks promising. The stairs leading down to it are blocked off anyway during the inclement weather.
Braving the wind, ice on the bridges.
Turning back toward the office, the elevated train “loops” around the city core, giving it its nickname.
Beyond the Weather, I think I will remember this winter as the one of White-Winged Scoters and Snowy Owls, from seen very well to barely seen at all.