Monday, January 14, 2008

Out of the Garden III

When we were out birding Saturday it was a beautiful sunny winter day. We were having just an average winter birding day watching large skeins of Canada Geese then Snow Geese and some White-fronted Geese passing over. Then to our surprise there were these huge white birds going by...but not they didn't pass by they circled around and landed in the pond we were perusing. Talk about a winter bonanza. We had 12 Tundra Swans drop in to the pond. They circled around several times trying to decide whether to land. What a splash they made when those big black feet came into contact with the water.
They were quite a ways away from us. I tried to digiscope them and got some fair shots. We tried to make two of them into a Trumpeter Swans because the adult seemed to have a grin patch and a couple of the juveniles had really humpy bills. However after reading that they don't go arouond in mixed flocks and the size should have been noticibly different we decided that they were all Tundra Swans.
The young ones have a bit of pink in the bill and dark heads and necks. These birds made our birding day. There were also some Mute Swans on this pond. They didn't seem to like the idea of sharing this pond with the Tundra Swans. I wish we could have stayed longer to see if there was a ruckas. The Mutes moved closer to the Tundras while we were there but they didn't do anything while we were there. Mute swans often chase away and harrass Tundra and Trumpeter Swans which is why the Mute Swans aren't welcome in most places. Mute Swans are an introduced species and they are larger and more agressive to our native Swans.


  1. Oh wow, Lisa, that's just so very cool! Isn't it great when you're at the right place at the right time? Great pictures of the swans!

  2. Oh gosh, I love that photo of birds in flight!! And the others also. Lucky you!

  3. Those swans are magnificent! Growing up we lived by a place called Swan Lake, a large lake with a fountain and various swans, black and white. We loved watching the baby swans hatch and change from 'ugly' to beautiful. I have loved swans all my life. You are so lucky to witness them closely enough to photograph them.

  4. Lisa: What a nice surprise for you on your walk! Nice closeups and I can sympathize with you concerning the 'dastardly' rabbit. Also love your fungi photos. No two seem to be alike do they!?

  5. You have been very very lucky to see them from so near! Great pictures!

  6. I am glad everyone enjoyed the swans as much as I did and that they brought back fond memories for some. I do feel mightly blessed when I witness a gift from nature.

  7. Dear Lisa,
    I too love the Swans. What a blessing to watch them come in.
    My husband and I have a date to see the swans in Northern Missouri.
    Beautiful birds.

  8. the tundra's are great but I really love that one photo with all the birds flying! That is just amazing!

  9. What great luck you had, Lisa. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Wow, I'm amazed you got such close ups of them. They come up north to breed and they are so elusive that if we see them from our window we don't dare go outside or they'd be off in a flash. You're extremely fortunate to have such close ups and to have experienced them! Lovely.

    Diane at Sand to Glass
    Dogs Naturally


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