As we neared the end of the drive we came across a small traffic jam. We waited patiently to see who was getting so much attention. When we finally pulled up we found a family of Trumpeter swans; mom, dad and six signets.
Such gorgeous, graceful birds, trumpeters are much less aggressive than the non-native Mute swan, who is known for chasing boaters, as well as native swans, off the water. The trumpeter even look less threatening, being smaller and slighter than the mute.
I imagine tannins in the water color the head and neck feathers of these swans, much like iron in the mud used for preening colors the feathers of Sandhill cranes.
We watched for quite a while as they splashed about, feeding and preening.
|Makes me think of the Aflac duck.|
The afternoon light was soft and the air was warm. It was a wonderful end to a fun, if short, adventure.
I'm excited to get back on the trail, and to get back to doing some birdwatching. It's been a brutal summer here, as it has been in most places, although the weather has recently broken and we've seen highs in the 70's and 80's in addition to some heavy rain (four inches in one 36 hour stretch last week). I don't tolerate the heat well, so combine the weather with my busy show schedule there's been little opportunity or desire to get out of the house. Autumn is my favorite time of year though and I am looking forward to another trip some time soon!