Monday, November 21, 2011

Tundra Swan, et alia

A few images from Saturday's trip to Forsyth NWR (Brigantine).

The highlight for me was the Tundra Swan (which makes only rare appearances in SE Vt). North America's smallest swan, it is still noticeably larger than the Canada Goose.

Tundra Swan
 This Tundra Swan was feeding in shallow water, often stirring the bottom with its feet. Coots stayed closed, apparently feeding on whatever the swan was disturbing from the bottom.

Tundra Swan with American Coot
When encountering a bird which is not normally seen, it is tempting to try to make it an even rarer species. Tundra Swan and Trumpeter Swan are very similar, especially at a distance (see Sibley for ID help). One clear field mark in the yellow lore which is sometimes visible on the Tundra Swan. The following photo provides a glimpse of this variable field mark ...

Tundra Swan with American Coots (note yellow lore)

Snow Geese arrived on the coast since my previous visit in late October. Only a few were close enough for photographs. These two found something delectable in the black mud of the impoundment ...

Snow Goose
Wintering waterfowl are the principle attraction along the coast during this time of year. I'll be doing a series of posts on dabblers soon. The moving flock in the following photo is dominated by Green-winged Teal, with no shortage of Northern Pintail. Somewhere you might find an American Coot. Mallards are in the foreground, and Tundra Swan in the background.

Green-winged Teal in flight

Great Blue Heron ... just because I like the photo ...

Great Blue Heron (juvenile)
Songbirds were limited, but flocks of robins and Yellow-rumped Warblers were still common. The bird in this photograph is swallowing a juniper berry. Juniper berries give gin its flavor, so I like to think that this bird is having a nascent gin martini, literally dry ...

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Good Birding !!


Laurence Butler said...

I like the swan photos, especially how the nearby Coots serve as the comparable 'ugly ducklings'. The Yellow-Rumped Warbler picture is especially brilliant too. Thanks for sharing

eileeninmd said...

Great post on the Forsythe birds. The swans are a great sighting. I usually see Mute Swans. Loved the photos, especially the GB Heron. Great photos, have a great week.

elvira pajarola said...

FANTASTICLY photographed, Chris....I LOVE these incredibly elegant swans...I'd wish to see them in a lake here....!!!!

It's soooo long I haven't been visiting & I have to catch up....I admired your BEAUTIFUL new LOOK on your blog & I discovered WONDERFUL documentations of your feathered friends!!!!

A feast for the eyes ...!!!

( ....All my very, very best wishes for your writing in the new paper...; I know they will love your work!)

It was such a joy to see you again in my little Tuscany; thank you so much, Chris, for your kind visit!

ciao ciao elvira


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