Monday, November 26, 2007

Fish for Breakfast

I took a very chilly walk along the river early in the morning this weekend. At the confluence of the Grand and Speed Rivers, the water was full of ducks, geese and gulls. Our over-wintering birds have arrived from the north and the sections of the river that stay open due to strong currents attract large number of birds. The temperature was -10C which is cold for this time of year. I watched this gull for some time as it tried to deal with a fish that was a little too big to handle. The gull was fishing from an ice-covered rock that was surrounded by shallow water.

The fish kept falling back into the water and the gull would retrieve it and return to the slippery rock. The fish would be placed on the rock and then the gull would try to eat it. But the ice provided no traction and the gull would slip off the rock and lose the fish again. The cycle would begin again.

If only the gull could have heard my advice! "Fly over to the river bank and have your breakfast on the shore where the grasses and ground would make a eating surface." Another birder was watching the river too and said the birds would stay as long as the food supply remained good and the water stayed open. The river is still very low for this time of year. Time will tell if nature will be kind to the winter residents that rely on its delicate balance to survive.


  1. Lovely pics Ruth...and a poignant, powerful post yesterday.

  2. Do you know what type of gull that is Ruth? I'm puzzling over it.

  3. Anonymous9:03 pm GMT-5

    That kind of fish breakfast is what I could see very day!

  4. AC- Thanks. The battle with the fish was a long one, so I had plenty of time to get pictures.

    K&M- I am glad you enjoyed the pictures and the post.

    Laura- I believe this is a Herring gull. Our local gulls are mostly Herring and Ring-billed. Winter is a good time to see some other types though. The Niagara River has many different gulls in the winter, especially above the falls, but it is a very cold and damp birding trip. It is an easy day trip for us and I may go if there is a sunny day.

    Monarch- I prefer my fish cooked, thanks! ;-)

  5. Ruth,

    Nice photos. I enjoyed seeing the gull trying to have his breakfast.

    The Grand is very low in my area as well. We still need more rain. It's rained for the last three days, but the water levels haven't come up much. Now it is rain/snow and probably will be sleet before morning. I hope that it just turns to snow.

    Take care and thanks for sharing.


  6. Mary- We got snow rather than rain yesterday. Still, there has not been enough precipitation to raise the water levels of the rivers significantly.

  7. Anonymous6:26 am GMT-5

    When I read the title in my feed list I thought you would be talking about what the Japanese eat for breakfast... I was an exchange student there and had fish for breakfast more than once... I think at breakfast time it was always cooked. hee hee...


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