23 December 2014

It's winter

Variety of large Larus gulls on the beach seawall
There's at least one Great Black-backed Gull on the beach seawall along Sir Casimir Gzowski Park.

The adults are pretty easy; the immatures produce a certain amount of "check the feet!" as a response; when the obviously smaller gulls have the pink legs and feet of herring gulls, well.  That reduces the options for what the larger and generally pretty dark immature gull could be.

Apologies for the terrible focus; manual focus with no tripod is not my best skill.  (I thought the lens was having cold issues; it looks more like the camera body is having ring-focusing-motor drive issues.)

Intractable Swans

So when I first reported L07 and J06, the nice people who work on the trumpeter swan re-introduction emailed me back and asked if the third swan, the one with no wing tag, had a leg band.  I didn't think so, but I hadn't taken a picture, so I couldn't be sure.
L07 Trumpeter Swan Cob, asleep on the beach
Unknown trumpeter swan asleep on the beach
And I am no more sure today, after remembering to take a picture.  ("Let's go wake the swans up", aside from being less than ethical, also isn't safe.  So we don't do that.)

J06 was further down the beach, honking malignantly at a bunch of seven mute swans.  The mutes were looking baffled and uneasy; it can't be the sort of thing they're used to.  And even trumpeter swans aren't that territorial in the winter.  It might get a bit more exciting come springtime, when the trumpeter cobs spend so much time striving to remember how their distant, distant ancestors grew rending teeth.

21 December 2014

Inherently elegant creatures, swans

Preening cob trumpeter swan J06
There's a group of trumpeter swans on the Toronto Waterfront this winter; mute swans are regular, but it's nice to see Trumpeters getting re-established enough to be present.  (Trumpeters are, after all, the native swan species.)  And I do suppose winter makes taking one's preening very seriously an important thing to do.