The closest beaches are a six hour drive for us - both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic - so those red finned shad must be awfully tastey in order to lure the gulls all that way!!!
Below you can see about 14 of one of my very favorite diving ducks, the Buffleheads.
These guys and gals are rather small and have distinctive black and white markings. Of course, the male is much more distinguished looking than his fairer friend, but that's life in the bird kingdom, isn't it? The Buffleheads scoot along the lake's surface as if on motorized little legs, and then they suddenly disappear for a minute or two. They are great fun to watch.
Here they are again quite close to our shoreline. Last year we had only a few Buffleheads, and not for long, but this year we have a good group. I hope they will stay all winter to entertain us.There's another view of the gulls, camped out across the lake. Moments before I took this shot, they were all flying around and diving madly for the shad. Apparently they had tired themselves out and were busy digesting their breakfasts by the time I got my camera out.
We also have several resident Great Blue Herons, 3-4 pairs of Wood Ducks (be still my heart, they are so gorgeous!), many Mallards, several migrating Hooded Mergansers, one grebe, and occasionaly some Ring Necks and a few other random species. There's always something to see and enjoy outside our windows.