Greater white-fronted geese are mythical birds. A myth perpetrated by the oil industry so that some of us jump in our gas-driven cars and spend hours cruising through the country looking for them when they’re reported on the local bird alert. Again.
This was intended to be a post about my exciting goose sighting, so I’m now talking about swans. Not that there’s anything wrong with swans, per se…
Tundra swans to be exact, and they were everywhere on our latest trip. Every pond we passed with swan-deep water held a dozen or more, and they don’t really care about human proximity. Many were family groups of two adults and a couple of gray juveniles.
Unlike the larger trumpeter swans which will be passing through the area in the next few weeks, tundras generally have a yellow spot in front of the eye. The two also have very different flight calls.
The day wasn’t a complete loss – I did manage to increase my collection of bird butt shots with some big big white ones.
If you turn up your speakers, you should be able to hear the swans in this video murmuring as they greet in each other in passing. It was a very peaceful prairie scene for a short while. I apologize for the shaky quality near the end, but I was unprepared for the sudden takeoff. I left it in because it’s a great (albeit shaky) view of how swans run along the water before lifting off.
I see someone has posted a new sighting of about 200 greater white-fronted geese just north east of the city. Pass me the credit card.