I may have been the only person who missed the swan on their first attempt on Monday May 27th. I got there around 6:00 a.m. and was kind of surprised the bird would have left on an inappropriate weather night. I met another birding friend and we did a quick search of other bodies of water and concluded the bird left. We then went to Oxford to the Prothonotary Warbler spot and walked around the body of water and failed on that attempt as well. Being in the area we then went back to the Charleton spot and the bird was still a no show. This was around 10:30ish.
Saturday morning (6/2) I was more lucky and arrived around 5:25ish. The bird was present in the pond, by itself, content and preening occasionally, but mostly just swimming around. About five minutes observing it some Canada Geese got animated and began calling at which time the swan got very alert and was paying attention to those geese. Those raucous geese then flew (it was only a few) and the swan took off with them. It flew almost directly south. Anyone arriving after 5:35ish would not find it.
This flight line would have taken it over the small solar panel array along side the next pond west. It did not gain a lot of altitude so must have remained local. A google map search of the area shows a couple of farm type fields just south of the solar array and these seem isolated from roads, so no access. Continuing south one crosses the Pike and then there is Lower Sibley Pond and more farm type fields. Could the bird be going to any of those spots to feed and then return to the known spot?
It is my impression this bird is wild; certainly wanted to be part of the geese which moved and likely those geese are not of those currently spending a lot of time in the field with the feral ducks. Those which flew were the farthest away from the ducks, in the water and on the slope which can not be seen from the barn on Brookfield; maybe ten birds total.
It also seems the bird is molting into a more adult plumage with white coming in along the bird border and on the back, based on images posted from the prior weekend.
Glenn d'Entremont: <gdentremont1...> Stoughton, MA
> On June 4, 2018 at 12:40 AM Josh <opihi...> wrote:
> Hi Alan - have not seen any reply to your question. The answer is, yes and no. The swan is excessively tame, and a bit out of season for the species to be moving around, which raises some suspicion. However, a swan of the same species apparently showed up in Rhode Island about a month earlier, and then disappeared just before this one showed up in MA, so it may not have moved far. And most commenters discussing this swan on FaceBook are considering it to be from the Great Lakes population. That population was built using eggs taken from nests in Alaska, hatched and raised in zoos, then released. The birds from the Great Lakes are distinctly more tame and have a less predictable migration than the completely wild birds further west, but birds from that population are considered “countable” under ABA rules because the population now seems to be self-sustaining and growing.
> Good birding,
> Joshua S. Rose, Ph.D.
> Amherst, MA
> http://bugguide.net/user/view/2399 > https://www.facebook.com/opihi >
> > > On May 31, 2018, at 2:20 PM, Alan Strauss <ansch100...> mailto:<ansch100...> > wrote:
> > Does anyone know whether the swan is being considered wild or captive origin?
> > thank you,
> > Alan Strauss, Providence
> > >