Date: 12/31/17 7:48 am From: Jeff Parks <lastimout...> Subject: [cobirds] Swans on Valmont Reservoir
Hi all -
After I was out visiting some friends, I stopped by Valmont Reservoir for a quick visit yesterday afternoon hoping to see something interesting. On the east end of the reservoir, there were four large swans. Tundra Swans, I thought, and tried to get better looks with my binoculars, since I had left the scope at home. As I watched them, it looked like three of them were larger than the fourth, and the smaller one had more grey on it as well. I couldn't see them well enough to call the larger ones Trumpeter Swans, but it seemed possible. In the evening, while I was looking through eBird reports from the day, I noticed that a couple of other birders (Paul Bonfils and Donald Jones) had been out there as well, and both of them ID'd them as Trumpeter Swans, and Paul had a couple of pictures posted. Hopefully they will stick around for a little while so I can get back out there with a scope.
On another note, while watching the birds that were close enough to see with binoculars, I noticed a large gull in the water in with a small flock of Coots and Hooded Mergansers. It seemed larger than a Ring-Billed, and I couldn't make out any black on any of the feathers. Donald Jones reported a Glaucous Gull yesterday, so I may have seen that one as well. Once again, I was kicking myself for leaving the scope at home.
There was also a couple of juvenile Bald Eagles in the vicinity. The cold weather has not affected Valmont Reservoir, it didn't have any ice on it that I could see. The forecast for today is more cold weather with a little snow, but as long as the wind stays calm, it shouldn't be too bad.