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Letter: A report on the swans

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

Swanfall (the arrival date of the migratory Tundra swans) was about three weeks late this winter. The flock was a bit smaller than previous years, but more worrisome was the very small percentage of cygnets (the grey-necked adolescents born in the spring of 2011), suggesting some interruption or impediment to the breeding season.

Of interest was the appearance of the banded exotic Trumpeter swan who infiltrated our flock of Tundras several years ago. He was readily recognizable, not only by his gaudy scarlet and gold ID band (9K9), but by his bossy attitude and brassy voice. It is thrilling to think he has made the multi-thousand mile round-trip at least five times: he was born in ’06 and banded in Iowa in ’07. The main flock departed for the Arctic shortly after March 1st on the same day the first osprey arrived from the south.

John W. Dayton

Hallieford, Va.

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