Had a note yesterday from one of my favorite bird photographers, Alan Stankevitz. He reported the amazing sight of seeing a 1000 Swans or more drop out of the sky onto Pool 8 at Brownsville, Minnesota…
“While spending a splendid afternoon today at the Brownsville Overlook (Hwy 26, 3 miles south of Brownsville, MN) there was a sudden fall-out of well over 1,000 Tundra Swans that dropped from high altitudes and landed on Pool 8. At first, they were just faint white specs way off in the distance, but within a few minutes they were beginning to land. What an incredible sight!
“I would estimate there are well over 10,000 Tundra Swans now on Pool 8 already.”
“I tried to capture the sight of the swans in the photo at left, but it doesn’t do it justice! The entire sky was filled with glittering swans.”
Now is the time to check out Pools 7 and 8 for abundant eagles and Tundra Swans! Swans will leave just before the ice begins forming in the backwaters. Now that leaves are gone, the Bald eagles and their great nests are highly visible in the bare trees.
As we drove Minnesota’s Great River Road from Red Wing to La Crescent this weekend… “indicator species” at various waysides highlighted the arrival of Tundra Swans!
Such clusters of humans with binoculars and cameras announce the “swan song” of 2011. Best viewing of Tundra Swans seemed to be right along HWY 61 just north of Minnieska, Minnesota (Weaver Bottoms) and again just south of Goose Island in Wisconsin. No doubt the Swans are also clustered just outside of Brownsville, Minnesota, and perhaps just north of Alma, Wisconsin at Reich’s Lake.
A word of warning though… I saw two men standing on the railroad tracks engrossed in watching an American Bald Eagle soaring up above.
There is a very real possibility that when engrossed in viewing wildlife, one would never hear the train coming until it is simply too late. Stand well off the railroad tracks!!
The seed islands north of Stoddard have been crowded this week with pelicans gathering for the trip south. With November just around the corner, and our first frosts already in the air, it’s time to start watching for Tundra Swans! I heard from Al Stankevitz that he has seen a very few towards the center of the pool at Brownsville, Mn. So be on the lookout for the long white necks of the Tundra Swans. In a few more weeks we should have many thousands!!
Just a reminder, too, that we have an extensive BIRDING section in the Mississippi River Home Page!
Please use the REPLY link to update our fellow birders on your observerations! This will be a spam-free way to keep one another posted on birding along the Mississippi River!!