We went for a paddle on Little Alden today, and saw this trumpeter swan swimming for a good long while. Eventually, it took off, honking as it flew.
We couldn’t decide if the trumpeter swan’s dark neck was due to age, molt, or just from rooting around in the mud. Picture quality isn’t the greatest, since I was cranked around in a canoe trying to catch it as it flew away.
Here it was, before it got spooked:
You can’t see much in that picture.
Here it is, just taking off:
This is the best view of its dirty neck.
Lastly, the picture that helps nail the ID:
The straight line, from the bill to the forehead, is clearly shown in this picture. The tundra swan, our other best possibility, should have a bit more sweep in its beak.
My dad and stepmom have seen swans stopping by Little Alden Lake in the springtime for years, but have never seen any stay. Well, it looks like this is the year. This is one of the pair that has been around for over a month now. Another benefit of this crazy early spring, I guess.