Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Eagle River, Alaska: One and a Half Years Ago

Trumpeter vs. Tundra Swans at Canandaigua City Pier, Canandaigua, New York

I made a stop down to the City Pier in Canandaigua this afternoon to try and catch up with some previously reported  trumpeter swans. Last month I saw a couple swans at the City Pier in Canandaigua.  I believed them to be tundra swans due to the lack of a V on the forehead, and I neglected to try and get closer for a better view, and of course did not have my camera. One of them had a yellow wing tag, which after investigation, I learned that trumpeter swans are commonly tagged in Ontario with yellow wing tags not tundra swans. Well, that was last month. I am still curious about this wing tag thing and would love some input as to whether or not tundras are tagged in this manner as well. 

Anyway, so today at the pier I saw 6 swans...all sleeping with their heads tucked in ...so I waited. Eventually they began to stir and I was able to determine that the group of three situated on the ice within the channel to the boat docks were trumpeters, with one dark and lovely juvenile. The three swans at the end of the rock break wall further from the pier are the tundras. You can just make out the presence of a yellow lore on the  tundra swan on the right, the other two appear to have no yellow lores. It was fun to watch them awake, preen, drink water and then slip in to the icy water to feed. Seeing both species together gave me a nice opportunity to compare and contrast their differences. 
Trumpeters awakening 
Trumpeters preening 

Tundras on the other side of the opening in the ice beginning to stir as well
Trumpeter in foreground with tundra swans in the background at the end of the breakwall

Tundras 2 and 3