Four Tundra Swans in flight Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Last year I saw my first of the season Tundra Swans on October 23rd and I have started wondering when they will show up at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge this year because the 23rd is now only 5 days away. This morning I checked eBird and saw that no one has reported seeing them here in Utah yet this fall. Will they be later this year than last? I really don’t know but I am anxiously looking forward to their arrival.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge hosts up to 13,000 Tundra Swans during November through December where they utilize the freshwater wetland habitats on the refuge. I hope that this winter I will spend more time photographing these beautiful swans because I don’t have nearly enough images of them in my portfolio and I will also attempt to create a video or two of them while they overwinter in Utah. The last video I recorded of them on my cell phone was shaky and the swans were quite a distance from me. Their beauty might be just enough to inspire me to learn to use my Nikon D500 to take video of them.
I think the sound of thousands and thousands of Tundra Swans is wonderful. Last year in early November I remember sitting in the cold with my window down listening to them from a distance and thinking about their long journey from the Arctic tundra to northern Utah and the amazing scenery they fly over on their way here. Tundra Swans migrate in family groups and the young they have stay with them throughout their first fall and winter.
In northern Utah I see and photograph Tundra Swans at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area and Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. They are also found at other freshwater areas in Utah and on occasion I have also seen them next to the causeway to Antelope Island State Park, floating in the Great Salt Lake and flying over the marshy areas surrounding it.
I wonder when I will see Tundra Swans on the wing for the first time this fall. Soon I hope!
Life is good.