I’ve had photos of a skein of geese (they are only a gaggle when flying), a raft or paddling of ducks (team when they are flying), and now we have a herd or whiteness (that’s pretty obvious) of swans. They appear to be called a wedge when flying, which they weren’t doing today. I have captured a few wedges (not wedgies, thank you) a few times, but never with the right lens with me. You hear them coming before you can see them with the beating of their wings. They are a beautiful sight in flight.
Nearby, there is a saltwater inlet where each winter the swans congregate. They aren’t there all the time, but today they were, and performed nicely.
There seems to be a great deal of wing flapping and stretching going on along with some neck contortions and resting.
They also seem to do some “follow the leader” quite a bit. Below is a photo of the area where they gather – it goes out quite a distance; fortunately there is a bridge to access these wonderful sights.
Here, the apparent “leader” began the parade to go across the water and under the bridge – to meet up with the others over there, perhaps.
In the meantime, check out this guy trying to get onto the ice……
Salt water ice is pretty mushy and not firm. The method used here was belly, feet and neck to work his way up on to the ice, where he promptly was bitten by the one already there.
Then we have this guy on the left (above) with his tail feathers in the air and his/her neck wrapped around. I suppose this takes some balancing skills. Perhaps this is the antisocial one, as there were no others in this position. Note the brown swan in front of Mr. Tailfeathers; it has not yet gained all white feathers, and is the only one in this herd (of whiteness). (Pun intended.)
These are the ones who followed the leader under the bridge; they all stood up on the ice, visited a minute, and then ventured back to the other side again. I thank them for this movement, as the light was great on this side!
You can see that the little brown one joined the party. One year, several years ago, there were over a hundred swans gathered here. Not as many right now, but I’ll keep checking.
Now, of course I also shot the typical “beautiful swan” photos with the swimming swan reflecting in the water and the trail of water flowing behind. But this is much more fun, isn’t it?
Just for fun – the little brown swan.