2013 Project 365

Project 365/363 – A Beautiful Respite

It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go quite right. Beginning with freezing rain, and then my schedule being delayed due to circumstances beyond my control. By two o’clock, I was starting to get rather pissy. I had been gypped out of being able go to the barn to ride Remy.

So I needed a mental health break, even for a brief period. As it was raining and misty out, I thought that photographing the Tundra Swans may prove to be rather interesting. I also wanted another try to find the Trumpeter Swan that is residing with the Tundra flock.

The Canvas Back ducks were closer this time, and being a newly educated smart duck photographer, I now carry whole kernel corn in the back of my car. Throwing corn out on the ice, the ducks quickly gathered, with the swans close behind.

untitled shoot-0529 untitled shoot-0538In spite of it raining and being 35 degrees, there was still some ice on the river. I had great fun watching the Canvas Back ducks slip and slide on the ice. Seems they’re not as adept as the mallards are.

untitled shoot-0641I think this guy was actually a little embarrassed that there was a witness to him sliding around.

untitled shoot-0604Some swans were sitting elegantly on the ice before they realized that corn was available for an afternoon snack.

untitled shoot-0526So standing in the rain..I looked for the needle in the haystack. Surely the Trumpeter is in the group somewhere. There were actually more Tundra Swans today than there were on Wednesday, so I had more swans to examine. Didn’t help that they kept moving and hiding their heads.

There is little difference for the untrained eye to be able to tell the difference. The main one being a distinctive “V” where the bill meets his forehead. All of sudden, I noticed a swan raising his head from a dive, droplets flying.

untitled shoot-0660

Could it be? Is it possible? Did I actually manage to pick him out from the crowd! By golly I did !!

untitled shoot-0699 untitled shoot-0690Notice the “V” on his forehead made from the black bill? Now you can look at a Tundra Swan’s head and it’s clearly different.

untitled shoot-0584After finding my quarry and being able to capture a number of images, I had to go. The rain was getting harder and life duties were calling my name again.

I’m so glad that I went. Even if it was a short 20 minute visit, it was enough to clear my head, cool my jets and be joyful with the beauty I was able to experience.

42 replies »

  1. Sorry that you had a bad day.

    That’s quite the mass of mallard in the first photo. The canvasbacks are diving ducks, so they have more trouble walking on land due to their legs being set so far back on their bodies.

    You have more patience than I to “sort” through a flock of one species of bird to find the one individual of another species. I’ve missed several species of gulls because I don’t have the patience to scope out a flock of several hundred herring gulls to find the one Icelandic gull known to be in the flock, as one example.

    • You always know how to make me smile. Indeed, I was bound and determined to find the Trumpeter that visit. But I’m with you – hundreds of gulls to find the one Icelandic – NOPE !! Too hard for me.

      I didn’t know that about the canvasbacks and ice. It was really evident that they didn’t have the skill to manage the ice vs. the mallards. Thanks for sharing that. Now to figure out what to shoot for the last two days. 🙂

  2. Seems like a great choice for a mental health break. Swans are beautiful birds and you captured them well. I’ve not seen a Canvas back up close and your images are great, pretty funny too. Thanks for sharing!


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