Tundra Swans gather by the thousands in the corn- and potato-fields near Grand Bend Ontario as they start their journey to their nesting grounds in the far north.
Were fortunate to be able to detour last weekend to see the swans. It was an overcast day with light snow falling. These two commuted from a field on one side of the road we observed from, to a field on the other side of the road.
For the past three weeks, temperatures have been mostly mildly below freezing to well below. The St. Clair River has largely frozen over so open water is limited. As a result, overwintering waterfowl been compressed into small spaces. I saw in this small open water area Mute Swan, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Redhead, Bufflehead, and possibly another species.
Tundra Swans are starting to winter over in our part of Ontario. Since they tend to stay far from roads and look more like white dots than birds even through my 300mm lens, I felt fortunate to capture these individuals about 100 meters away.
Tundra Swans, Cygnus columbianus (link to allaboutbirds.org), are majestic, breathtakingly marvellous birds to watch. As they migrate through our part of the world on their way to their breeding ground, many stop and rest in harvested corn fields. When resting they congregate in large flocks that sometimes number in the hundreds or thousands.
They are also wary of humans, flying away when we become too intrusive. I was fortunate to approach within about 100 meters. After taking this photo I withdrew to leave them in peace.
These majestic creatures (Cygnus columbianus, link to AllAboutBirds from Cornell Lab of Ornithology) are quite shy and keep a healthy distance from humans. This pair did not care for my presence a mere 200 or so meters away and took flight.