January 12, 2009 Four Otter Morning

This morning I watched a family of four River Otters swim along the  shore of Fawn Lake, where I live in Mason County on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. When I stepped out  on the deck to watch from above, I watched and heard one otter’s jaws crunching a fish after emerging from a dive.  Whenever I see a family of otters here, they dive closely together–usually just a few feet apart–not spreading out as they fish the lake. When they dive from the surface, it is an act of grace with barely a ripple, the tail arching as the animal slips into the depths.

Also today, I watched a Common Loon out on the lake.  Closer in, a  Double-crested Cormorant spent the night in the ragged Bigleaf Maple in front of our house on the shore, 60 or so feet away from the roost where many of its “colleagues” routinely spend winter nights. Then, this morning, a Sharp-shinned Hawk attempted to raid the feeder and  perched on my deck railing a few feet away, showing off its bright yellow feet.

A good wildlife day on an otherwise dreary day at home.

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2 Comments on “January 12, 2009 Four Otter Morning”

  1. Ginger Gumm Says:

    Lee, Please e-mail regarding the common loon on Fawn Lake. Enjoyed looking at your photography, expecially the ice patterns and birds.

    Ginger Gumm
    WA Conservation Common Loon

    • leerentz Says:

      Hello Ginger, The Common Loon was on the lake on Sunday and Monday, January 11 and 12. I’m not there today, so I don’t know if the loon is still visiting. We get occasional loons on Fawn Lake, usually briefly in the winter, though sometimes at other times of the year, including one time memorably for two weeks in July. They don’t breed on Fawn Lake, which is too busy and developed to support breeding. One time there was even a Pacific Loon visiting for a day in the winter.

      Lee Rentz
      Shelton, WA


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