Five Tundra Swans, that I've been able to see so far this winter, have taken up residence at Mustatatuck, as mentioned in an earlier post. On Saturday, on a quick drive down to the refuge, I found the Swans floating or standing on the frozen ice right in the middle of Reichart Lake. And obviously with a 200mm lens, this is as good an image, albeit cropped, that I could get. A good deal of Reichart was frozen from a cold snap we had had a few days prior. Mustatatuck is the perfect winter home for these Swans what with the marshes, lakes and ponds and better yet, lots of agricultural fields surrounding the refuge where the Swans can feed.
Amazingly these Tundra Swans summer during the breeding season all along the coastline of North America, hence the name Tundra Swans. They build large round nests along the edge of the water and generally lay 3-5 large cream colored eggs. One of the North American Migratory Flyways goes right through (traveling north to south) southcentral Indiana. Many Tundra Swans fly much farther South, but apparently this flock has decided Mustatatuck is their winter home. Lucky me!!! Have I mentioned lately I'm turning into a bonafide birder.
Oddly, Tundra Swans sound very much like Canadian Geese. And speaking of which, these six Canadian Geese were walking, or more like sliding, along the ice at Reichart just a few yards from the Swans.
It was so funny watching them. If one of a pair of Geese didn't keep up with his partner, and they got very far away, he would lift up like he was taking off and fly a few feet or a yard or two, and then come right back down. And all the way he's slipping and sliding on the ice, and in the case of the Goose on the right falling through the ice. It was hysterical to watch them. I plan to visit the refuge again this winter. Perhaps I'll get better images or perhaps not. I was just thankful on this visit that the Swans hadn't flown to the fields to feed and it was a beautiful sunny day. And on a more pressing matter, the New Year is almost upon us. Are you ready? ENJOY!