One of the very first birds to re-appear in the spring as they migrate north is the swans. Here they are normally the Tundra Swans, Cygnus columbianus
, the most common swan across North America. I can usually count on seeing them early in March, and here they were right on time, in spite of our yo-yo winter.
I used my 300 mm lens, and the auto-focus seemed to work just right. This is an enormously cropped image, a bit grainy, but focus I'm pleased with.
I had driven over to Lake Eugenia partly thinking that the ice would be out and the lake would have refilled to its normal spring level, but I was wrong on both counts. It's still largely frozen except for the course of the former river that still flows through it, and still needs more water to reach normal levels. Until it does, Eugenia Falls will remain a trickle - it's mostly shut off until the lake refills.
But there, along the edge of the open water, were about 30 swans, along with a group of Canada Geese of course. Yes, those close cropped pictures above and below are cropped down from this view.
The water is still low enough that a few stumps show through the ice in the distance. This is an artificial lake created for hydro generation, and there are lots of cut-off stumps from the formerly forested river valley (102 years ago).
Some of the swans were sitting or sleeping on the ice (you'd think it would be cold!), and some swimming lazily around. They didn't appear to be feeding at all.
In any case they are beautiful, graceful and about the largest waterfowl we see here. I am always more pleased to see the native Tundra Swans passing through on their way to the Arctic than to see a pair of the non-native Mute Swans which may stay around all winter, but are never seen in larger flocks.
In another much-cropped image, my eyes tell me they can pick out a tiny patch of yellow on the black bill of the bird on the right here, definitely making these Tundra Swans. Now spring has actually begun, even though it's all white again here this evening.
They are all lovely images.ReplyDelete
I look forward to seeing more birds.
Beautiful birds! How wonderful they've returned.ReplyDelete
Amazing lens, to get those distances, and to see the swans. Regal, snow white, and a little pause and rest on their way northwards. Hope we see some more from your camera.ReplyDelete
This a sure sign that spring is close at hand.ReplyDelete
Beautiful creatures. Great photos.ReplyDelete
Lovely photos . We see them by the hundreds here fly over to and from Point Pelee Island Thousands of these magnificent birds use the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area that is only minuets away by car to refuel on their migration to the high Arctic Region between Alaska and Baffin Island.ReplyDelete
Each year it's expected that 10-60 thousand birds will stopover here. Birdwatchers from all over the province come to Aylmer to see this beautiful bird, and wonder of nature that is right here in our backyard! They are beautiful birds in flight and on the ground , Thanks for sharing , have a good weekend !
So nice to see them back summer is on it's way and we be back in a while yet.ReplyDelete
Beautiful birds, wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing your swans with me. :-)ReplyDelete
They are stunning, aren't they? Hard to believe the cold doesn't bother them but they seem oblivious!ReplyDelete
Isn't it true, yo-yo winter. It's -24 this a.m. and it's up and down!!!!ReplyDelete
They're such beautiful birds!ReplyDelete
love the swans, you captured them beautifully!!!!ReplyDelete
Swans certainly are gorgeous birds! We have the black variety.ReplyDelete
Very nice photos, your 300mm lens did a nice job.ReplyDelete
I don't think I've ever seen one of them. They must look huge flying by!ReplyDelete
The house I showed was on Euclid Ave just north of College. I would fit into the annex nicely.
These beauties seem to fly right by my house.ReplyDelete
A swan is such a special bird that I don't see in our are very often. I am moving to a new place near a lake that they land on during migration. I will be able to drive over and see swans and pelicans spring and fall.ReplyDelete
Lovely to see these swans & I agree completely that they are beautiful and graceful!ReplyDelete
Aren't they gorgeous!!! I haven't seen any in a very long time.ReplyDelete
I would be happy with that cropped photo, too.ReplyDelete
Lovely images! Swans are such graceful birds!ReplyDelete
Hello, gorgeous series of photos. The swans are beautiful. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!ReplyDelete
You have a sharp eye to see these in the snow.ReplyDelete