Tundra swans invaded White Lake in late November. They continue to be observed along the southern shore along Bluff Road to Mill Point Park as of this posting. I made a rough count Saturday the 30th that indicated that there were close to one hundred present. They intermingled with a large contingent of Canada Geese and ducks, occasionally making a great deal of noise and posturing.
The distinctions between the Tundra Swan and the Trumpeter Swan are a bit subtle. The bill on the Tundra Swan is more slender and the black area doesn’t extend from the bill to surround the eye. Tundra Swans may have a small yellow patch on the bill near the eye which is just visible in the above photo.
According to the Cornell Ornithology Lab , White Lake is not far from their migratory route (See map) but they don’t normally winter in this area. In summer they nest on the extreme northern and western edges of the North American continent and only occasionally visit the Great Lakes. They are large birds with wingspan of over five feet but are a little smaller than the less common Trumpeter swan.
It was a pleasant sight to observe a native swan species in such large numbers on our lake. I took it as a reassuring sign that White Lake is healthier and just that much more natural now.
More photos here.