Archive for December, 2015

Whooper Swan 12/25/15


For much of the fall this uncommon Whooper Swan has been seen around the NH seacoast, a lot of that in Amy Kane’s backyard. I got to see it on Eel Pond in Rye Beach a couple weeks ago when it joined the lone Mute Swan there for a few days. I’d hoped to come back and get a closer shot, but it disappeared again (though may not have gone far). Whooper Swans are from Eurasia and are being seen in the Northeast more frequently in the last couple decades and it’s not clear if these swans are escapes from captivity, or strays from Iceland. They are huge birds with 7-8 foot wingspans and yellow and black bills. Mute Swans have bright orange and black knobby bills, and our 2 native swans—the Trumpeter Swan and the Tundra Swan—both have all-black bills.


Snowy Owl 12/18/15


Snowy Owls began showing up on the New England Coast a couple weeks ago, and this winter looks to be the 3rd in a row with record numbers of young birds invading from the Arctic. The bird above has taken up residence at Ragged Neck (Rye Harbor SP), but is smaller and paler than the owl that was resident the previous 2 winters. To find this bird, simply look for the knot of photographers and owl enthusiasts and see what they’re all aimed at.