[Tweeters] Whooper Swan notes

Bill Tweit bill.tweit at gmail.com
Sun Mar 6 21:37:25 PST 2022

We greatly enjoyed watching the adult Whooper Swan this afternoon at it's
recent haunts in the pastures at the end of 176th, off the Tualco Loop. I
am quite intrigued by the immature swan that seemed to be accompanying the
adult Whooper. It isn't a Whooper, as the beak coloration is wrong, but
I'm not quite sure what it is and why it behaves as it does. Any really
good photos of that immature in close proximity with the adult Whooper
should be posted on eBird; there appear to be a couple of good ones there

We had a very pleasant chat with the person who lives at the bend in the
road there, and who is the proprietor of Johnson's Blueberries, a U-pick
operation. He has enjoyed the presence of the bird, and reported that the
birders have been very cooperative and not a problem. He also noted that
he would love to have birders come by in late June/early July when the
blueberries are ripe, and the U-pick is open. If you've enjoyed watching
the swan there, think about returning to pick blueberries and letting them
know that you learned about them because of the swan.

He did raise one concern. He noted that just today (Mar 6), a pair of
birders who were present mid-day walked way out into the field, to the
point where he was concerned that they would spook the flock and was quite
certain that no new swans would join the flock while they were out there.
He didn't understand why they thought they needed to get so close. It is
private land, and he did not know if they had permission.

The point is, ALWAYS BIRD RESPONSIBLY, as it is likely that somebody is
observing your actions even if no other birders are around. Our behaviour
is noticed, even when we think nobody is watching, and it reflects on all
of us. And, of course, even if no humans are observing you, your actions
may still have an effect on the local fauna.

Don't forget blueberries later this year, their bushes look really healthy.

Bill Tweit
Olympia, Washington
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