Sunday, March 23, 2008

My First Visit to The Sanctuary

Many different swan species at the sanctuary, all hanging out together.
I was lucky in 2008 and 2009.  I got unlimited access to two incredible sanctuaries. I'd met the owner of one of them (KR) who invited me to take pictures of his "swans" of which he said he had a large collection.

I couldn't have been less interested at first. I was only into nature photography - trees, rivers, snow.  But he kept asking and asking me, telling me this was the season they were all the most beautiful. So I went.

It was an unforgettable experience.  I felt as if I had been bitten by a bird full of the most mesmerizing nectar, like triple ambrosia, and since that bite, I have never been the same.

Mute Swan in threat posture
The rush of the water, the innocent winged beauty of the animals who raced, played and posed in the water are something I can never forget!

My first sight at the sanctuary was a lake of multiple swans, each more beautiful than the next.

Creative rending of mute swan.
I first watched a gorgeous mute swan lift his wings, charging directly at me, only to shift course and speed away in the opposite direction when nearing the bank of the lake.I had seen many swans in my lifetime but never such a gorgeous creature. Having recently taken up photo art, he was the first bird to bear the benefits of my blossoming creativities. I learned that as beautiful as these animals are in raising their wings, they are in "threat" posture, having perceived possible danger. By raising their wings like the swan below, they appear "larger" to their competitors.

After admiring the large mute swan, I watched a few swans cavorting together. Mixed breeds were accompanying each other back and forth across the lake, chasing, drifting, all looking beautiful!

Mute swan and whooper swan hanging out together

Mute Swan to Whooper Swan: I can swim faster than you can!

Next I noticed two coscorba swans peeking out from behind a bush.
Shy Coscoroba Swans checking out the scene

After this, I saw a Whooper Swan by herself, a Black Necked Swan and even a Black Swan!  
Mesmerized by Swans!
Whooper Swan

Black Necked Swan

Coscoroba Swan Trio

Last but not least, I watched a beautiful Swan preen herself.  Every single feather was viewed and worked on!

After the mystical swan experience, I checked out The Sanctuary's nearby Duck Pond where about many different ducks were cavorting near a mouthwatering waterfall! 

Chestnut Breasted Teal
After enjoying the waterfall, I checked out a few of the individual colorful ducks...the drakes fully decked out for their spring activities. What a sight!

Rosybill Drake
readu for actopm

Barrows Golden Eye D

Bidding one last goodbye to the mesmerizing swans, I took my leave. I knew this first visit would NOT be the only one!

Carol Lowbeer, March 23, 2008

Beautiful Mandarin, Trumpeter Swan and Barrows Goldeneye

Good morning, here are 3 more beautiful waterbirds from our exhibit, Waterbirds In Love, at the Connecticut Audubon Society in Pomfret ! ...