I still remember when I saw the first Trumpeter Swans 2010 here in eastern Iowa. A year later it was great excitement to report about the first cygnet that had just hatched in a nest at the Mill Creek Ponds near Bellevue, Iowa. Every year since I return to this location in a side valley of the Mississippi and have witnessed the restoration of a bird that was once common in Iowa, but was gone from the state by the late 1880’s.

Every time during the day is probably a good time to watch the largest waterfowl in North America. It is not uncommon anymore to see Trumpeter Swans in and around the upper Mississippi Valley. The late afternoon or early evening on a day with blue sky is definitely the best time at the Mill Creek Ponds if you like to make a photograph. The warm and low light of the sun brings some structure to the feathers without risking overexposure of the image.

Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM S, Induro GIT 404XL tripod, Induro GHB2 gimbal head