Every year brings new surprises.
This has been especially true this year with the very late arrival
of the Tundra Swans to Pool 8 on the Upper Mississippi River. A few
of these swans did start arriving in October but their numbers did
not increase as much as normal as the weeks progressed.
One must assume this was due to the
incredibly warm first half of November here in the Upper Midwest. High
temperatures in La Crosse, WI averaged 20 degrees (F) above normal for
the first 18 days of the month. The average high was 65 degrees (F)!!!
Looking at satellite images, there
was no ice on any lakes in the Upper Midwest up into Manitoba and
Ontario. There was no cold weather to push the swans southward.
I have been photographing tundra
swans on pool 8 of the Mississippi River for many years and have
never witnessed anything quite like this year. Swan numbers have been
way down compared to previous years.
The good news is that the weather
pattern has finally changed and cold weather has finally pushed the
swans southward. As of November 21, the numbers on pool 8 have
substantially increased although the number of swans by the
Brownsville overlook is still low.
Here is a video of the tundra swans
as seen just south of the Brownsville Overlook along Highway 26. If
you have a 4k monitor, please be sure to use the highest resolution
setting on Youtube. (Video was taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and
the Sigma 150-600mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter.)