Saturday, January 9, 2010

Collared Trumpeter Swans

Through the network from fellow birdwatchers I received word that the trumpeters were starting to arrive in force near the lock and dam in Alton, and especially good numbers could be found at Riverlands  Migratory Bird Sanctuary on the Missouri side of the river.
My heart soared much like the  gorgeous elegant birds flying over head, as I made the first turn out from under the Lewis and Clark Bridge.

The swans had arrived and large numbers of them were in good light, and great spots for photographs!  A quick dash into the visit center to check the bird number boards and locations revealed that over the previous two days the swan numbers were growing rapidly and nearly 600 were on the refuge that day.
I had high hopes of being able to gather some collar numbers for the Trumpter Swan Society and also for USGS and Illinois Swan watch. Little did I know just how many collared birds I would be able find that morning!
I was able to retrieve a total of 17 collar numbers, and spotted an additonal 11 collared  swans but couldn't make out the entire collar numbers.  It was especially exciting to discover a family that all members were collared and the cygnets were collared with succesive numbers.


Yes indeed there was a batty old broad in camo doing the happy dance all along the edges of the ponds and potholes !!


This group of Canadas brought a giggle when they discovered they only thought they were landing on open water..and had a resulting pile up when they hit slicker ice.


Nothing can compare with the elegance of the trumpeters in flight with the subtle whoosh whoosh of their wings that sounds so much like a tafetta skirt rustling in the breeze.




I'll be heading back to check on my friends the swans and the eagles this coming week - the icing over of the river should provide me with some excellent opportunities :) 


Crex Meadows Lovers said...

Hi Gretchen, I found your blog through The Trumpeter Swan facebook site. I was looking at your photos and saw one swan I've seen here in Burnett County, WI. My first sighting of P78 was in the fall of 2002 on the lake where I live. It was a cygnet then so was born in 2002. It's mother is 82K (green collar) that is still going strong and is in the area right now. She's 21 years old this spring and was captive reared and released here on a local lake when she was 2 in 1991. My last sighting of P78 was in May, 2008 at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area. I'm glad to see you enjoy the Trumpeters as much as I do.

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