Friday, February 17, 2012

Mute Swans

The Great Backyard Bird Count is taking place today through Monday, so I headed over to Farm Pond for a "sure" thing.  (There is no restriction on where you count birds.)

I sent in a report of 7 rock pigeons, 1 great blue heron, 44 mute swans, 6 Canada geese, 3 hooded mergansers and 2 mallards.   They requested confirmation of the number of mute swans, citing that it was early for such a large number.  Not having gone to Farm Pond in past years, I don't know whether this is a higher than usual turnout for mute swans or not, but it is definitely not for this year.

I was very surprised to see a turtle sunning itself!  If the weather is warm enough, turtles usually start appearing in March.  The warm winter temperatures are having an effect on wildlife yet again.

Some say that mute swans are a non-native species, imported from Asia and Europe.  Others, however, argue that Lewis and Clark mention seeing great flocks of swans in the diary of their expedition.  Based on the time of year and location, they conclude that it must have been mute swans unless, the identification of the bird as a swan was erroneous in the first place.

In any case, the mute swans at Farm Pond were bathing, preening, and showing off their fine forms, making quite a display.

A new yoga pose?  Reclining Swan pose!

I submitted this photo to the GBBC.  I liked the surrounding ripples in the water.

Look at that water!  Stunning!  The swan was sure I was admiring him!

Mating season can't be far off.

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