It’s that time of year again, when winter begins to fade as temperatures gradually rise above the freezing point. One of the first spots in Anchorage where the change is most notable is a shallow manmade lagoon along Chester Creek. Parts of the creek flow fast enough to maintain a little open water through most of the winter, but that accelerates quickly during the transition, opening long channels that invite the first migratory waterfowl of the season—as well as other visitors. Such as the Northern River Otters recently gathering small fish and other edibles there, and after dining, sliding around on the snow-covered ice in a playful manner. Then, ever mindful of competition for a limited food source, one of the otters swam over to three Common Mergansers and aggressively chased them off.