Yesterday (26 March) I decided to drive into Mt. Pleasant to drop off the materials that I had taken to Novi to use in my presentations. On the way to Mt. Pleasant I noticed a flock of large birds flying over the road and landing in a field of corn stubble. I was expecting Canada Geese (Branta canadensis); it is common to find them in fields, feeding on waste corn.
I was not expecting to see Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus).
I was especially not expecting to see hundreds of Tundra Swans!
Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me - violating the First Rule of Photography. I though for a minute about returning home, but decided to continue on to Mt. Pleasant. When I returned home, about an hour later, there were even more swans in the field. I rushed home to retrieve my camera and drove back to the site.
I parked along the side of the road and began to photograph from inside my truck. Small flocks continued to arrive while I sat there.
Usually I only see flocks this size at the Maple River State Game Area near US-127. Usually they are far out in the water away from the highway, with no way to see them up close.
When I drove by the field again this morning all of the swans were gone - but we did see a few in another field closer to Mt. Pleasant. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to see and photograph these birds.
UPDATE: Right now (27 MAR at 9:00 AM) there is a flock (approximately 100 swans) in the field west of the Soaring Eagle Casino.