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TUNDRA SWANS at Middle Creek MCWMA

April 22nd, 2018 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in TUNDRA Swan at MCWMA

TUNDRA SWANs
Formerly they were Called “Whistling Swans.”

Tundra Swans

Witness the Spring Waterfowl Migration
in South Central Pennsylvania.

Wild Tundra SwansMiddle Creek WildLife Management Area
Where WILD TUNDRA SWANS & Snow Geese Fly Free.

Click Images to Enlarge
 Migrating Tundra Swans

Middle Creek WildLife Management Area is a Unique Place to view Several Thousand Tundra Swans while they stop and rest in Flocks waiting for some Instinctive Signal that it is Time to Fly North, back toward the Territories where they will start their Nesting Season.Migrating Tundra Swans

From February through early March, as Large Migrating Flocks of Waterfowl begin to Arrive at Middle Creek, you may hear Comments on the Local News that the Snow Geese are at Middle Creek Wildlife Center.  Migrating Snow GeeseThey often do not say much more..
They might show a quick Video Clip… of the Snow Geese.Middle Creek Snow Geese

It is TIME to Check the Pennsylvania Game Commission Website….
(Link Below) In Early February Middle Creek Staff start to Post
Estimated Bird Counts every few day.Spring Waterfowl Middle Creek

They Mainly Count the Snow Geese, Tundra Swans and Canada Geese until the Numbers Dwindle.. Spring Waterfowl Middle CreekThe Main Spring Migration Push may only last a few Days to Two-Three Weeks. Every Year is Different..

This is a Tundra Swan..Tundra Swan

There is a Yellow Spot between the Eye and their BLACK BEAK..
And they do look like they are Smiling.Tundra Swan Smile
Trumpeter Swans have Black Beaks, they do not have this Yellow Spot..  Both Species are Federally Protected Native Swans.
Trumpeter Swans


Middle Creek WildLife Management Area – MCWMA.

is In South Central Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County.PAGC Middle Creek Reservoir-Lake
It is a Man made 380-Plus Acre Reservoir Impoundment
Constructed and Completed in the early 1970s.Middle Creek Impoundment

Search : The Middle Creek Story
Pennsylvania Middle Creek WildLife Area History.
This Summary of MCWMA is Interesting.
Middle Creek Bird Watching

For those who enjoy Bird Watching.. it is a Place to witness the Annual Spring Migration of Tundra Swans, Snow Geese, Canada Geese.. Migrating Canada Geeseand many other Species of Hawks, Ducks and Birds.Mallard DucksMCWMA Migration
There are Resident Nesting Bald Eagles.Bald Eagle Middle Creek

Middle Creek is a delightful place to spend a few hours on a Nice Day. Middle Creek WMA A Visit is worth the Trip at least once in your Life.Spring Waterfowl Middle Creek

The Displays of Snow Geese Air Dancing in Mass are Breathtaking.
Resident Bald Eagles Spook the Snow Geese into Flight.

The Visitors Center
Middle Creek Wildlife Management AreaMiddle Creek Visitor CenterPennsylvania Game Commision All managed by the PA Game Commission.
Free to the Public.Middle Creek Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is Closed from Thanksgiving to February 1st.
Middle Creek Wildlife Area

State Game Lands Number 46
100 Museum Rd, Stevens, PA 17578

Phone: 1 (717) 733-1512Middle Creek Visitor CenterMiddle Creek Visitor CenterMiddle Creek Visitor CenterMiddle Creek Visitor CenterMiddle Creek Visitor Center Middle Creek Visitor Center Middle Creek Visitor Center Middle Creek Visitor Center Middle Creek Visitor Center Middle Creek Visitor Center

The Spring Migration Counts are Posted on the PAGC Middle Creek Webpage.. under the “WaterFowl Migration UpDate.”
The WebPage Posts a Summary of the Migration Activities.Middle Creek Tundra Swans

Search for: Middle Creek Waterfowl Migration Update
The Site Link is Too Long.

Waterfowl Migration Update – PA.gov

The Estimated Counts for Snow Geese may be 20,000 to over 100,000…Flock of Snow Geese

The Counts for the Tundra Swans may be 500 to 5,000 or more.Tundra Swans Middle Creek

A Rare Trumpeter Swan has been noted during the last few years.Wild Trumpeter Swan

There are flocks of Canadian Geese, and various other Migrating Birds.Migrating Canada Geese

We have been to MCWMA when there were Tundra Swan Counts
averaging 4,000-7000…Migrating Tundra Swans

TUNDRA SWANs – Cygnus columbianus
Formerly known as Whistling SwansTundra Swans
TUNDRA SWAN MAP

The Word TUNDRA means Barren Land.Barren Tundra
The Alaskan and Canadian Tundra Regions are Areas of Extreme Climate.Winter Landscape

There are year-round Frozen Grounds – Permafrost.Frost Heave

The Region is Treeless. The Growing Season is very short.Treeless
The Winters are LONG and COLD.Very Cold Winter

Search: Tundra Landscape Pictures

Tundra SwansWildlife include: Tundra Swans, Snow Geese, Assorted Ducks.
Caribou, Muskoxen, Barren-Ground Grizzly Bears.
There are Wolves, Foxes, Weasels, Ground Squirrels,
Arctic Hares and Lemmings. AND, Lots of Insects.

Tundra Swan Nesting AreasTundra Swans Nest on Arctic Tundra Ponds, in Estuaries,
on some Inland Lakes and along Coastal Waters.Tundra Swan Nesting Areas

The Tundra Swans must Nest as early as Possible..
They only have time to Mature One Clutch of Eggs.
If this Clutch is Lost, there is not enough time for another.Swan Nest Closed

There would not be enough time for Late Cygnets to develop
and be ready to Migrate when the Tundra Swans must once
again Fly South.Wild Tundra Swans By early September the Cygnets must be fully feathered and able to fly well enough to travel Hundreds to an average of a Thousand Miles with their Parents.Migrating Tundra Swans

Cold and Starvation claim many young Tundra Cygnets.Winter Begins

The major Fall Migration of Tundra Swan occurs more to the East in late September to early November. TUNDRA SWAN Migration Range MAP Ontario’s Long Point on the North Shore of Lake Erie, is an important Spring and Autumn Migratory Staging Area for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans.Migrating Tundra Swans

After Staging, they will fly Day and Night making a non-stop Migration of almost a Thousand Miles to their Wintering Areas.TUNDRA SWAN N America-Migration-Flyways MAP
The Eastern Population will distribute down the Atlantic FlyWay along the Eastern Shoreline from the Chesapeake Bay to Wetlands
of the Carolinas.  Maybe a few through Eastern PA, not through Central PA.Migrating Tundra Swans

The Parent Swans will take their growing Cygnets on their first Migration.  The Cygnets will have just One Round-Trip with their Parents to learn the Migration Route and where to find the Foods they need to survive. Migrating Tundra Swans Only the Healthiest Cygnets will complete Migration.  A Study found a 52 Percent Survival Rate for Tundra Swan Cygnets during their first Migration.Tundra Swan FamilyTundra Swan FamilyTundra Swan Family

MIGRATION OF TUNDRA SWANs     “Whistling” Swans
http://my.kwic.com/~pagodavista/schoolhouse/species/birds/migrate.htm

Migrating Tundra SwansThe Tundra Swans may fly Hundreds of Miles by Day and Night. Depending on Headwinds or Tailwinds they will fly about 15 to 60 miles per hour.  The Long V Formations may be close to a Mile High in the Sky.Migrating Tundra Swans

The Spring Migration is a little more Inland with Thousands moving through Central Pennsylvania in February and March on their way back North – up into the Canadian Tundra Regions.Migrating Tundra Swans

This is a Lovely Video Summary of Tundra Swan Migration.
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/swan_tundra

The Start of Migration Activity at Middle Creek makes me Hopeful Milder Weather will begin in our Area after the Long Winter.Waterfowl Spring Migration
The Birds will Generally move North as the Waters they depend on are Thawing.     I always wonder – How do they know ??Waterfowl Spring Migration

Large Wedges of Tundra Swans may take Flight at SunSet heading North..  They will fly many Miles through the Dark of Night.Migrating Tundra Swans

You may hear a Flock of Tundra Swans flying at Night as their Whistling Calls float through the Cool Air.Migrating Tundra SwansNocturnal Tundra Swans

To hear their Vocal Call … Check this Site – Link.
The CornellLab of Ornithology Page.. All About Birds
There is a Green Button to Activate the Tundra Swans’ Call.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Tundra_Swan/sounds

If you have a bit of Luck and a Flashlight in hand.. Shine a Beam of Light up under the Swans as they move overhead. It is a thrill to witness this Seasonal Nocturnal Event.SWAN Silhouette over the MOON
With Binoculars you may get to see Migrating Birds flying across the Moon.

At this Link you can HEAR the Tundra Swans in a Flock..
There is a VOCAL Strip to the Right of the Photos..
http://www.ducks.org/hunting/waterfowl-id/tundra-swan#ad-image-0

Migrating Tundra Swans800-1000 Miles is the Average Distance from Middle Creek to their Tundra Nesting Regions. Taking Wing for their Home, Tundra Swans will arrive by Mid-May..Tundra Swan Family
The Parent Swans will arrive unaccompanied by last Year’s Young.Tundra Swans

Migrating Tundra SwansThe Young Non-Breeding Swans will gather in Juvenile Groups and Flocks..   They are no longer Welcome to be with their Parents.

Migrating Snow GeeseThe Snow Geese will also fly North to the Arctic and Subarctic Regions of North America where they will Nest during the Spring and Summer Months.
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When I first started to learn about Mute Swans..
the thought of Pinioning them was so sad..

Pinion Mute SwanTo take their Flight away..
The Freedom and Joy they must feel as they Fly Naturally About.Wild Tundra Swans
Swans Evolved to Float and Fly.Trumpeter Swans

Now, I accept that to keep Mute Swans as Captive Pets,
to Minimize the Hazards of Wild Swans,
Pinion or at least Clipping is necessary for their safety..Electrocuted Trumpeter Cygnet

When we have a chance in February or March we head to
Middle Creek to see Wild Migrating Tundra Swans in Flight.Wild Tundra Swans
Federally Protected, Tundra Swans live Wild and Free.Tundra Swan Flying

Hunting Tundra or Trumpeter Swans is Prohibited in PA.
Sadly, that is not the same for Feral Mute Swans.SWANs ID TUNDRA TRUMPETER MUTE

On a nice Weekend the Roads around Middle Creek are Jammed with Visitors from all over the East Coast when the Migration is in Progress..Middle Creek WMA
We watch for Fair Weather and visit during the Week.Middle Creek WMA

MCWMA MigrationTake Warm Clothing, Binoculars, Camera Equipment, Snacks.
It is Picnic/or Brown Bag only place.
Rest Rooms are in the Visitors Center..Middle Creek Visitor Center
There may be Port-a-Pots out at Willow Point.  Seasonal..

Middle Creek Willow Point

The Main Public Road through the Management area, Klinefeltersville Road is Open all Year..Middle Creek Wildlife Area Middle Creek WMAMillstone Road on the South Side of the Lake is also Open with a Parking Area by the Lake.

Middle Creek Willow PointThere is a Walking Path, Willow Point Trail, to view areas of the 380 plus Acre Lake..  Middle Creek Willow Point Great Viewing of the Snow Geese..Migrating Snow Geese

Middle Creek Willow PointThe Walking Path to Willow Point is Paved
Strollers – Walkers – Wheel Chair Accessible.
It is 0.44 Mile from the Parking Lot to the Viewing Area.

Middle Creek Willow Point

During Late Fall through the Winter Months..
Willow Point Walking Trail may be Closed to the Public due to Hunting Season.Middle Creek Driving Tour

ALL the Roads around the Lake are OPEN most Years from March 1st..  through September 15-30th. Then Closed for the Winter Months.Middle Creek Driving Tour

The Best Time for us to Visit is usually after March 1st.

Middle Creek Wildlife Area
The Driving Tour Roads that run through the interior part of Middle Creek are closed from September 15-30th to March 1st to all traffic.
There is NO Foot or Bicycle Traffic allowed during this time.

The Driving Tour Roads Open on March 1st most years, if the Weather Conditions are acceptable.Middle Creek Snowy Day

This allows Visitors to drive around the MCWLA Reservoir Lake. Several Parking Areas provide viewing from different angles to the Lake.Middle Creek Driving Tour
The Waterfowl will favor the areas of Open Water as the Lake is Thawing.Migrating Tundra Swans

Check for any UpDates for the Tour Roads Opening.
Some years this may be delayed due to Snow on the Ground.Middle Creek March Snow
(They do not Plow this Road) This would disturb the Birds…Mallard Duck Nest     Respect the Restricted Area.

Middle Creek Wildlife
*** At SunRise there is increased activity as the Nocturnal
Traveling Flocks of Waterfowl arrive at Middle Creek Lake..Migrating Waterfowl

Large Flocks of the Waterfowl will spend time away from the Middle Creek Reservoir Lake during the Day.Wild Tundra Swans

As you Drive around the Area you will see Flocks of Waterfowl
Grazing in Grain and Corn Fields and on Ponds of Local Farms.Wild Tundra Swans

The Birds will forage in Farm Fields, picking up Salvage Corn and other Grains left after the Fall Harvest. They may feed on Winter Grain Crops – Wheat, Rye and Barley.Wild Tundra Swans

Many Flocks will returning to the Middle Creek Lake around SunSet.Middle Creek Tundra Swans

*** Late Afternoons toward SunSet, there are Flocks of Tundra Swans, Snow Geese and Canada Geese taking off from the Lake and
heading North.. back toward their Northern Territories..Migrating Tundra Swans***************************************

The Magic of this Spring Day just left on Wing.
L.M.Sweger  2018

I Fix my Gaze on the Individual Swans
as they move further away..
I want to hold these images in my Memories..
Magic is Flying Away.. They are going to their own Destiny.

Holding my Eyes on the Whole Flock…
With Each Rhythmic Motion of their huge strong Wings
they are lifting higher into the Colored Rays of the Setting Sun.

They will soon be the best Sight in the Late Afternoon Light..

I Wonder – How do they Know the Way.. ?
How do they Know when to Go…?
From here their Home is over 800 Miles North.
What Urge inside makes the First Swan
get up and Run UP into the Sky..  ??
What Urge inside tells the Rest of the Flock to Follow.. ??

Distant Stars will Guide them on their Night Flight.
Miles and Miles and Miles.
The Warm Light of the Spring Moon will Chase them
through breaks in the Grey-Blue Clouds.

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 WHEN MIGRATING WATERFOWL NEED OUR HELP

It is possible during the Early Spring you might see/find an Injured Tundra Swans.Injured Tundra Swan
Migrating Tundra Swans can get hit by Vehicles..
They may Fly into Power lines..
Resulting in burns, broken wings and legs..

Please Report Injured Tundra or Trumpeter Swans to the
PA Game Commission.. or a WildLife Rehab Rescue.

Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators
pawr.com/

Most of the Injured Tundra Swans are taken to Tri-State Bird Rescue in Delaware..Tri-State Bird RescueTri-State Bird RescueThey will be Evaluated and Treated if there is hope for Recovery and Release.Tri-State Bird Rescue

There is NO Federal Program allowing Private Ownership of Tundra Swans.  It is illegal for a Private Person to have these Federally Protected Swans..

Trumpeters SwansProperly Registered Pinioned Trumpeter Swans may be Privately Owned.

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Wildlife Rescue Service
Address: 170 Possum Hollow Rd, Newark, DE 19711
Phone: 1(302) 737-9543 https://tristatebird.org
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Wild Tundra Swans

There is Magic in the Air.. Swans in Flight

3000 Tundra Swans arriving for the Night – Jan Harteman
in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, USA.

Migrating Tundra SwansA Huge Flock of Tundra Swans taking off
Aylmer Wildlife Management Area Swans

Wild Tundra SwansCanadian Arctic Tundra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Arctic_tundra

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Spring Waterfowl MigrationWe had this little extra:
Middle Creek WMA SunSet

One Evening, when there was a Cloudless, Clear, Colorless SunSet…
turning around toward the East, a Band of scattered Red Sunrays formed a Pink Ribbon on the Horizon…Middle Creek WMA SunSet

The Pink Band slowly rose higher into the Sky above the Grey-Blue Shadow of the Earth as the Sun slipped further below the Western Horizon.  This Pink Band is called the “Belt of Venus.”

Middle Creek WMA SunSet
Middle Creek WMA SunSet

Middle Creek WMA SunSet

Middle Creek WMA SunSetPhotos of Middle Creek WMA
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Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger                  Date April 2018
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