Tundra Swans on Lake Mattamuskeet 2007
We made our second trip to see the tundra swans and other birds at Lake Mattamuskeet in February 2007. This is supposed be rather late for the trip because tundra swans and other birds are already headed north. But we found plenty of swans on the lake when we got there.
The first thing we noticed as we approached the lake was the noise. Tundra swans are always talking. It's a constant racket. It's almost a cooing but not quite. The swans don't honk like geese.
Tundra swans are big birds. And seem to crowd the other birds off the lake. We did see a few ducks, but that was about it. It could be that the swans are so overwhelming that we didn't notice other birds. We did see a few snow geese and Canada geese.
The lake and the sky above were always full of swans. It was like Chicago O'Hare at rush hour. Birds landing, birds taking off, and birds waiting to do so.
When you see all the swans in the air and on the lake, it's easy to understand why so many towns in Eastern North Carolina have swan in their name--Swans Quarter and Swansboro, for example.
The lake is a pretty place, even without the birds. There are a few guiet spots away from the birds where you can enjoy the interaction between water, land, and sky. We plan to return sometime in 2009 to paddle it. And of course we plan to return to see the birds again. We'll try for December 2008.