Tundra Swan flyover at Col. Sam Smith Park / February 25, 2020

About once or twice a year towards the end of winter, I see a group of large white birds flying in a “V” formation. Distant flocks sound like baying hounds and announce their presence clearly. These Tundra Swans are on their way to the far north to nest on marshy tundra lakes. This morning about 35 flew overhead in 2 degree, overcast conditions.

Tundra Swans
Tundra Swans
Tundra Swans
Tundra Swans
Tundra Swans

Species list: tundra swan, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American black duck, bufflehead, common goldeneye, long-tailed duck, greater scaup, red-breasted merganser, great black-backed gull, herring gull, ring-billed gull, downy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, brown creeper, American robin, European starling, house sparrow, northern cardinal.  (22 species)

Gadwall (female)
Gadwall (male)
Mute Swans
American Black Duck (male)
Bufflehead (male)
Common Goldeneye (male)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Long-tailed Ducks (male)
Canada Geese
Red-breasted merganser (female)
Red-breasted merganse (male)
Red-breasted merganser (male)
Northern Cardinal (male)
left to right: Juvenile Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull
Juvenile Great Black-backed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

These snowdrops are a sure sign of approaching spring:

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)

Park scenes:

Roots showing erosion
Rose hips
Crabapple (malus)

This morning’s group:


Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?       – William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

Miles Hearn

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