Monday, December 7, 2009

At The Wilds: Mystery Birds

Monday, December 7, 2009
The Saturday after Thanksgiving we took the kids birding to The Wilds, a 20,000-acre recovering strip mine that's an endangered animal breeding and research facility. In the temperate months you can tour The Wilds in one of their buses. But most bird watchers visiting The Wilds just like to drive the roads to see what birds are around, in the vast grassy fields, and the many ponds and lakes that dot the landscape.

On the south side of The Wilds there's a long, string-straight piece of road that passes a couple of long, narrow lakes. Well, calling these lakes might be a bit of a stretch—they are not naturally occurring. Really, they are deep scars in the earth, cut by massive machinery as it removed seams of coal. Now these giant holes have filled with water.

That matters not to the waterfowl that pass through these parts. The two white birds above were on this lake, loafing and preening. Swans, at first glance. But which swans?

More on this line of inquiry tomorrow.


On December 8, 2009 at 12:08 PM John Callender said...

I'm guessing they're the same species as they're named in the filename of the image. Though I realize that's kind of cheating.

On December 8, 2009 at 2:02 PM Rondeau Ric said...

not mute or tundra from what I can see.
The other T swan?

word verification - rewin - so what did i win?

On December 8, 2009 at 3:33 PM Anonymous said...
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On December 8, 2009 at 4:04 PM Andy said...

I'd actually go Tundra/Bewick's despite the name of the jpg file.