Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nesting Trumpeter Swans

In the summer of 2006, conservationists from Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, located in southwest Michigan, in partnership with the staff and volunteers of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, released eight pairs of Trumpeter Swans at an undisclosed location. As I drove the route that traverses the Dunes on my trek north in July, I caught sight of several Swans out of the corner of my eye. Making a quick turnaround, I drove back to the marsh where I spotted the Swans.

Strangely, this marsh sits directly to the east of the Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes. The marsh was peppered with beautiful yellow lotus flowers. It was late in the day, but I still managed to capture a few images of the nesting pair, albeit not the best lighting.

I read online that in the thirties there were 33 Trumpeter Swans in the entire continental United States and none in existence in Michigan. Thanks to conservation and reintroduction efforts, the Swans are plentiful again, not only in Michigan, but also throughout the United States. And it appears the conservationists at Sleeping Bear Dunes were successful in their hope that the Trumpeter Swans would imprint on the Dunes marshland making it their nesting site each Summer before migrating south for Winter.

Being quite a distance from the Swans, these images were the best I could do. I stood and watched the nesting pair for quite some time hoping one might lift off and give me an image of their beautiful wing span, but no luck. The entire time I watched them the Swan on the left never once lifted its head. I'm thinking an afternoon nap.

I took various images of the marsh itself before I headed back to the car to continue on to Empire Bluffs that day. I love marshes. And why I love marshes is easy for me to explain. I love the sharp edged cattails sticking up out of the water and blowing in the breezes. I love the brightly color lotus flowers that bloom amongst the lily pads. I especially love all of the waterfowl you can find on any given visit.

Speaking of waterfowl, this female Wood Duck was plying the waters in the marsh just over from where the Swans' nest was situated. And while you can't see it in my photos, there was one Great Blue Heron fishing on the opposite end of the marsh not far from the Swans. When I planned my trek to Michigan, I had no idea I would encounter such a beautiful lakeshore with gorgeous blue water, gulls and wood ducks and swans, stunning red lighthouses, blueberry and cherry farms galore, tallships sailing in the bay, and dunes as tall and as far as one's eye could see. But I did and it all so refreshing. I have a few more photo ops to share coming up. I hope you have enjoyed the trip so far. I would love to hear your thoughts. ENJOY!

1 comment :

  1. Enjoy indeed, those birds are majestic, and the marshy waters, flower buds and reeds all add to the beauty. You share your travels so generously, we are richly rewarded for taking time to visit. Cheers, Jean