Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Tundra Swans

I was staying with family near Lake Superior over Thanksgiving and my visit happened to coincide with the arrival of tundra swans during their fall migration south.

It was overcast most of the time I was there, but the sun did come out for a couple of hours on two different days. Once we had some good light, my son Zach and I went down by the lake to photograph the swans.

We had a good time watching the birds feeding on plants in the shallow water close to shore, preening, and resting on the ice. There were probably two hundred tundra swans spread out along the edge of the ice for a quarter of a mile.

As I peered through the camera's viewfinder trying to anticipate action and capture some decent images, Zach would watch the larger group of swans and alert me if any were flapping their wings or flying.

"Flapping dad! Over here!" Zach would say, and I'd swing the camera in that direction and do my best to catch what he had seen.

Working as a team we were able to capture the images you see here. Zach got some turns with the camera and the chance to take some photos as well. I really liked listening to the swans as they talked almost incessantly the whole time we were there.

Often, I find myself grateful for the little things in life. Like spending time with one of my sons watching tundra swans along the shore of Lake Superior on a cold November day.  I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fall Tundra Swans

Two tundra swans set their wings to land

Every fall tundra swans stop over on the Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior during their fall migration.

 One swan bites another after landing nearby.

More than one hundred swans were on the bay during 
Thanksgiving this year. The birds stop to rest and feed
on aquatic plants in the shallow water along the shoreline.

A swan runs on the water until it gains enough speed to take flight.

 I really enjoyed watching and photographing the swans with one of my sons. The birds are beautiful and were fun to listen to as they they fed and interacted with each other.

A swan flaps its wings as others rest on the ice nearby.
The swans stay only until the ice forms far enough out from the shore that they can no longer reach the plants they feed on.

A swan landing near another tundra swan.

Swans set their wings just before landing on the lake.

Once the ice gets too far out in the lake the swans take flight and continue their migration south. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to be near the Chequamegon Bay when the tundra swans show up in the fall, and have a great time watching these beautiful birds.