A very good day in the field

 This morning I arrived at the property of one of our land stewards to take some baseline photos of their pond. When I got to the pond I disturbed a coyote. He didn't seem too sure what to make of me and came creeping closer and closer before disappearing into the undergrowth. Then I started hearing noises from the pond. A few minutes later I spotted the source of the noises, a river otter. The otter was trying to open new holes in the ice, swimming under the ice and hitting the ice from underneath. All that noise attracted the coyote back and like a tiny polar bear waiting at a seal hole in the ice he snuck as close as he dared to the edge of the ice to try and get himself a tasty otter snack. Lucky for our otter friend and unlucky for the coyote the air hole in the ice was quite large and the ice around it was very thin. So the otter had no trouble staying safe and after a final sniff in my direction the coyote disappeared again.
The otter didn't seem to stressed by my presence and kept swimming around, occasionally getting out to the water to groom and then sliding back into the water to attack the ice again. Another visitor stopped by the pond who was very happy about the otters efforts to keep some of the water open. A kingfisher flew in and perched on an overhanging branch keeping a close eye out for anything swimming past below.
During the winter it is hard to see all the links in foodwebs, but I think I had a pretty good start at least at the top levels today! It was an amazing privilege to get out an see such a healthy wetland today.