I walked across to Pope’s Island today, and over to Fairhaven. A skim of ice covers the quiet backwaters of the harbor on the Fairhaven side. And on the water by the Holiday Inn Express parking lot, two big white graceful birds: a pair of Mute Swans swimming side by side. I also saw dozens of ducks and geese; the inland waters must be freezing over, driving the waterfowl to the estuaries and bays, where the salt content keeps the water mostly open.

The swans had the usual arrogant way of swimming that Mute Swans seem to have. They know they’re pretty so humans won’t touch them; they know they’re bigger than any other animal on the water. All the ducks and geese were fairly shy, and swam warily away as soon as I got too close; but the swans didn’t care where I stood. If they were human, I would have said they’re show-offs.

Waterfowl list for birders: 40 Canada Geese; 2 Mute Swans; ~12 Mallards; 56 Scaup (prob. Greater); 38 Bufflehead; 1 Common Merganser.