Nature clicks #77 - Tundra Swans

Tundra Swans
Nikon D300s, Sigma 50-500mm / f4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM

As hinted yesterday already there was more excitement than just the Bald Eagles at the Mississippi River. I finally met Burt Gearhart, a photographer from Le Claire I have been in contact with by email since a while. Burt kept me posted about the eagle activities at lock & dam #14. Yesterday he gave me a tip where to find Tundra Swans along the river. About 3PM the eagles refused to catch more fish and were just sitting in the trees. I decided to scout the location Burt told me about and left the dam. I found the place at the river immediately, and yes, there was a whole school of Tundra Swans near the shore. Adults and juvenile swans were present, but also Canada Geese and some ducks. If you want to see me excited, this was the moment to meet me. ;-) In addition it was probably the best time of the day to go there because the whole scene was covered in warm afternoon light. I followed Burt's advice and stayed in the car while taking shots. Despite the fact that the Tundra Swan is the most common swan in North America, I have not seen them before here in Eastern Iowa. They are easy to identify because of the yellow spot most of them have on the base of their black bills. They are smaller than the Trumpeter Swans  I have watched many times before. There may have been some Trumpeter Swans among them but I wasn't sure about it. Not all Tundra Swans have the yellow spot. Thank you Burt for giving me this tip, it made my day!

I will show some more images tomorrow. A major update on my Macbook keeps my resources busy at the moment.