Ice Breaker Swan

Well it’s early December and the rig is all put away for the winter. We will again be staying in the north this year. (We sure do miss the Florida weather, but it really makes sense for us to be here, at least for the time being.) We are cozily settled into our winter digs, enjoying a slightly slower pace, hoping to use this season to further develop our music and to catch up on some things that have fallen by the wayside in the busier summer months.

We’ve had the privilege of observing some pretty interesting avian activity here lately, like this kingfisher that dropped by in early November:

Click on these thumbnails to see larger images.

Click on these thumbnails to see larger images.

It’s fun to watch the ducks gliding along and the seagulls out on the water playing, sometimes diving and splashing, but I think I enjoy watching the swans the most. Thirteen of them graced the lake yesterday, mostly on the opposite shore, as the water there is free of ice.

While watching the swans I noticed some very peculiar movement, and realized one of them was thrusting his body forward in order to break the ice so they all could swim freely into the river that connects to the lake. I quickly grabbed a camera and was able to capture some video.  It’s a little rough but I think it’s interesting enough that you will still be able to enjoy it.

What I’m going to tell you next is going to sound crazy, but it really happened like this! While proofreading and editing what I’d written above, out of the corner of my eye I saw an eagle fly past, not more than 30 feet away! My heart was racing! I’d spotted him on the ice yesterday right before he flew away but didn’t get to the camera in time. Today he landed again, and I was able to get in one quick snap before he took to flight.

Click on these thumbnails to see larger images.

Click on these thumbnails to see larger images.

Then, while I was trying to catch another picture of the eagle, a big ol’ sandhill crane whizzed through the air, 10 or 15 feet from our window! How amazing and exhilarating! We’ve seen scores of these cranes in Florida, and maybe a dozen or two in northern Michigan, but this is the first one we’ve seen in West Michigan. How stunning it was to see this gigantic bird fly by at close range! I’m surprised the bird was alone, as we normally see them in groups of 2 or more. I wonder if we’ll see him again, or if he was just passing through.

Click on these thumbnails to see larger images.

Click on these thumbnails to see larger images.

Wyatt and I find a lot of pleasure in watching the change of seasons. Soon the swans will be gone but the juncos will be making their appearance. Then we’ll really know it’s winter!                                                                                                                      –Shari

One thought on “Ice Breaker Swan

  1. Enjoyed the neat bird pictures and your excitement over them. When we lived in Pardeeville WI at our place that had a creek and three ponds, we would often see the sandhills down at the pond closest to our house. We would see their reflection in the pond first, as their color blended in with the old grasses on the bank so thoroughly.

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