Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tundra Swans


A crowd people were gathered along a new overlook in Minnesota, near the Iowa border, south of Brownsville. Across the Father Of Waters, clouded in mist, lay Wisconsin.
 
As Mrs T and I parked along the highway,  we heard a rather loud and strange sound emanating from the river.  It was a kind of  of excited yet friendly conversation among some visitors from the tundra far to the north.
Here, we were to witness a world class event in the world of natural  wonders. Coming from the arctic , in their tens of thousand, along the Mississippi river, tundra swans had stopped to refuel and rest, before continuing their journey to Chesapeake Bay, far to the southeast.



With the construction of the lock and dam system on the river in the 1930's, many of the natural aspects of the river have changed. One of these is the wave action of the increased open spaces. Many islands have disappeared. Because of this, many of the plants and tubers the swans fed on also disappeared. Now man is undoing the damage and helping the birds, by using dredge material from the main channel to rebuild these islands. The artificial islands providing a resting place and shelter from the wind and renewed food supplies. It’s not entirely safe for the ducks and swans who gather here though as hundreds of bald eagles cruise overhead  along the river as well.  They are always on the lookout for an easy lunch.

The new overlook provides a safe place for people to turn out to see and photograph the swans.   Previously people would park along the shoulder endangering themselves and passing vehicles. Way to go DNR and Army Corps of Engineers. We make an annual trip along the river to see this amazing sight. It never grows old.  Thanks Mother Nature!

And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Flying Swans from Mr. Sciences "Nature Notes."
 

20 comments:

  1. Just fantastic! They really can squawk, can't they? They are visiting Utah right now, too. I've seen a handful just flying overhead, but after I get Thanksgiving dinner over, I can get out to the best viewing sites.

    Nice to have a safe place to view.

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  2. How spectacular! You're so fortunate to have witnessed that.
    And thank you for sharing!!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    :)

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  3. Nice post! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs. T!

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  4. What a sight! Nice photographs.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs. T and all the family.

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  5. I am so jealous ! What a wondrous thing to observe. I also liked what you wrote about "Lincoln", my oldest son and I have a date to see that soon.

    Oh, and by the way...
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

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  6. that would be so awesome to see (and hear!)

    happy thanksgiving!

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  7. Just to let you know I'm thankful for your blog. I read your blog regularly, even though I don't post comments often.

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  8. That was so great that you were able to see that. I didn't realize that they headed to the costal waters in the east. I am glad you shared this.

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  9. Wow, what an experience! I bet it was pretty noisy! Nice shots for your memory book!!

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  10. Man oh man, what a magnificent photo op and experience!

    Hope you are having a blessed Thanksgiving!

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  11. These are gorgeous...and I always call them Snow Geese. They are awesome and more-so that you get to see them...wonderful.
    Blessing

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  12. Happy Thanksgiving, hope it was a good one with family.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  13. I would love to see these beautiful birds someday.

    So glad to see some of the man made damage being corrected. Definitely a step in the right direction.

    Hope your family had a nice Thanksgiving.

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  14. Had them a couple times at my river home.What a great sight, I only saw a few

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  15. What an amazing sight that must have been!

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  16. Oh ~ I bet that was a very awesome sight to see! Thanks for sharing:)

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  17. Now that is something to be thankful for! You and Mrs. T were fortunate to be there as witnesses to one of nature's miracles. I'm glad the river system is being altered to accommodate the wildlife.

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

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  18. Awesome! I wanted to drive through that area when we came home from Indiana..but as you know when men are concentrating on getting home..then that is where you go.
    It must be quite a sight! I am glad you got to go! How are you feeling? :)

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  19. What a terrific posting! I would love to someday have the opportunity to visit such a site at such a time!

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