Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trumpeter Swans and a Nature Walk

Olivia and I went on a nature walk on Sunday morning to see a flock of trumpeter swans that were resting in a neighbor's soybean field. It was still early in the morning - before 8:00 a.m.

Re-Introduced Trumpeter Swan in Flock

Once we were closer, the swans were a bit more alert, but didn't seem concerned by us watching them.

Trumpeting Encouragement to Land

As we were watching them, we heard a trumpeting sound in the distance. The swans on the ground began trumpeting loudly. In a matter of minutes, a swan appeared overhead.

Landing Swan

The swans kept trumpeting, encouraging it to join the flock. The swan circled overhead, and then landed. You can see it land in the picture above (on the right hand side).

Younger Swan in Back

As we looked at the swans, we noticed that one was a shade of gray. It's a juvenile trumpeter swan. It's the same size as an adult, but the plumage is gray. It also has a pinkish gray bill versus a black bill (it will change from gray to black as it becomes an adult).

Trumpeter Swans Taking Off

Eventually, it was time for the trumpeter swans to leave. They all stood up (they can reach 60 inches tall) and spread their wings (they can get up to 6 1/2 feet wide). They flew south a bit as they took off, and then turned to the northwest and flew away.

Truly, it was one of the more memorable mornings. This was the second time in my life that I have seen trumpeter swans. However, this was the first time that I was able to see them so closely and for a prolonged period of time.

Open Space

Olivia and I enjoyed being out in the quiet, open field. We walked over to where the trumpeter swans were after they flew off and found some feathers. Not large ones - just the small, downy feathers.

Deer Track

As we walked back home, we spotted many deer tracks.

Dog or Coyote Track

We also saw some dog or coyote tracks. Not sure which one.

Southern Part of Property Looking North

Eventually, we made it to the back part of the farm. The picture above is a view looking north. The red barn with white roof in the distance is the barn in the backyard. It seemed like a long walk back to Olivia.

Once we got through this pond/swampy area, it was an easier walk. We enjoyed seeing where deer had visited the farm - where they sleep or rest in the pressed-down grassy areas.

It was a wonderful way to start the morning...and one we will certainly remember for years to come.


Rita said...

That was so cool that they called to the lone swan!! I've never gotten to see them close up in the wild.

Right now we have the Canadian geese passing through on their way north. What a wonderful sound.

That was a great morning in nature! :)

Raggy Rat said...

wow - and i love the photos in your blog too xxxx