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Tundra swans: grace and beauty on the wing
Submitted by JIM NIGRO on April 5, 2013 - 8:55am
There are few things in nature so graceful and sublime as the tundra swan in flight. In recent weeks they've been arriving in sizeable flocks from their wintering grounds along the mid-Atlantic Coast.
A split second before touch down in a local farm field, this pair will join the main flock in gleaning the remnants of last year's crop.
Their respite will be brief before continuing onward to their breeding grounds in the Far North. The landowner said the previous two days the south end of this field held so many swans it resembled moguls on a ski slope.
While only a remnant of the previous day's flock remains, there were enough to suit me. This photo was taken seconds after they spotted me in a hedgerow. Moments before they were meandering about, heads to the ground as they helped themselves to last fall's leftovers. Now alert, their necks erect, they begin to move slowly away.
I certainly would liked to have captured this group against a blue sky....but like the saying goes, you play the hand you're dealt.
This is Raven, a first year black lab and she certainly doesn't seem to mind Claudia and I encroaching on her territory. Though these are her stomping grounds, she could care less about swans.....she just wants to make friends! Raven is owned by Ed and Luanne Mileham who told us about the swans and gave us access to take photos. Thanks Ed & Luanne!!!
By the time the mating season kicks into high gear, these swans will be just a memory, nesting somewhere in the Canadian Far North.