Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rare visit from a Trumpeter Swan

A local birder called me today to let me know he had seen a swan he believed to be a Trumpeter Swan at Holcim Wetlands in Florence, CO. Swan visits to my area are fairly rare, the last visit was several years ago so I drove out that location. I did see the swan but since Holcim Wetlands has been closed to the public for several years due to flooding damage the view was from the roadside about 400 or so feet away. While I was putting up my spotting scope two fishermen entered the closed site and flushed the swan along with other waterfowl away. I then drove to other bodies of water from Florence to Penrose to Canon City looking for the swan. When I didn't find it I returned to Florence to look for other birds and was surprised to find this swan in a flooded agricultural field. Ironically after I left a phone message for the other birder to make him aware of this location I found he had texted me 2 1/2 hours earlier to tell me the swan was here (arggh, I am not attentive to texts).
As I did not want to flush the swan I didn't drive as close as possible but stayed on the road back aways to reduce disturbance so I took the pics from about 100 feet away and I stayed in my car and minimized noise. I shot from the 300 mm setting on my zoom lens which is,equivalent of 450mm as my camera is not full frame then cropped these pics severely to get these close up photos. Note the orangish color on it's neck and head, this is an adult swan and it gets this from foraging down into iron rich water that stains the feathers. I have seen this on swans in Yellowstone Park in the past. I hope it flies back to Holcim Wetlands to spend the night. SeEtta