Saturday, June 8, 2013

Canadian Geese and Mute Swans

While we were back east, in NJ, we took my parent's dog, Willow, for a walk every day. We walked to a nearby park where there is a nice loop that circles a large pond. Canadian Geese are regular inhabitants of the park and one day we saw a family with four goslings along the edge of the pond.
We kept our distance so as not to disturb them but with the telephoto lens on my Canon PS 260 camera I was able to get some close shots.
Their feathers look like they would be so soft to the touch, almost like fur.
On our return trip back to WI, we camped at East Harbor State Park again at Port Clinton, Ohio. In the early evening we went for a stroll and happened upon several families of Canadian Geese feeding along the shoreline of East Harbor. A person walking by with her dog scared them into the water. One of the families had six goslings and it was beautiful to see them all lined up in a row with one adult in the lead and the other bringing up the rear. What watchful parents!
On our walk we were hoping to see the Trumpeter Swan adult with the three cygnets that we saw earlier on our trip. I have since learned that these were Mute Swans, not Trumpeters. I was fooled by the orange stain on the neck of the adult. But the orange bill is what uniquely identifies the swan as a Mute. We spotted several Mute Swans; the first was on a nest located out in the water away from shore.

And then we saw an adult with just one cygnet swimming along the shoreline. We wondered if this was the same adult we saw with three cygnets earlier. We hope not...

I made the assumption that the adult was the mother, but I don't know if that is so.

We also spotted several egrets. I tried to photograph one while it was flying, a difficult task.
 Here's one that was standing on shore, hunting for a meal.
A moment after I made this image, the egret darted forward to catch something. I wasn't fast enough to capture it well. Notice what I think is a muskrat in the foreground.

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