Swan: Batiquitos East 27 Nov 2021


Tito Gonzalez
 

Trumpeter or tundra south side of lagoon at 4:20 pm. Need scope. Origin?

Tito 
Carlsbad 


Tito Gonzalez
 

I'm including more information on swan I observed just before dusk. As many of you know, Swan ID at Batiquitos is complicated as Trumpeter Swans introduced to Lake San Marcos are known to occasionally visit the Lagoon. Furthermore a Tundra Swan was found last year at this time. So both are known to visit the location. I was able to use my improving digi-scoping methods to get a reasonable highly magnified image despite the distance and conditions. The picture and some observation notes are in the following ebird report. I'm interested in any comments and tips regarding ID.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S98163329

Tito Gonzalez
Carlsbad, CA


David Trissel
 

The Trumpeter/Tundra Swan found yesterday by Tito continued at the far east end of Batiquitos Lagoon today from at least 6:45 to 9:45. The bird moves around a lot and hides in the reeds for extended periods of time. It never came close to any vantage point that I could find. First spotted from El Camino Real just north of La Costa Avenue, then seen from the north side (Chollas Point?), then disappeared for over 30 minutes, then spotted again from El Camino Real and then it headed due west. So we tried from the “normal” trailhead/overlook on Batiquitos Drive (hotspot) and were unsuccessful.

I’m hoping someone with good digiscoping skills is able to get some good ID shots. I did not see any yellow on the bill/face through the scope, despite seeing it from many angles and in different light.

My eBird list is here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S98193322
Description: Too distant to determine which it is. Bill looks entirely black in scope. Cannot tell relative bill size/shape. Black appears to pinch down and barely touch the eye giving the impression the eye is almost isolated from the black.

If anyone would like to experience a little bit of the frustration of looking at a too-distant swan for three hours, here is my Flickr album of 45 very distant, blurry, grainy attempts to photograph this bird: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmXci6P7

Enjoy!

David Trissel
San Diego, CA

On Nov 27, 2021, at 6:16 PM, Tito Gonzalez <txsandpiper@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I'm including more information on swan I observed just before dusk. As many of you know, Swan ID at Batiquitos is complicated as Trumpeter Swans introduced to Lake San Marcos are known to occasionally visit the Lagoon. Furthermore a Tundra Swan was found last year at this time. So both are known to visit the location. I was able to use my improving digi-scoping methods to get a reasonable highly magnified image despite the distance and conditions. The picture and some observation notes are in the following ebird report. I'm interested in any comments and tips regarding ID.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S98163329

Tito Gonzalez
Carlsbad, CA


David Trissel
 

OK, I have received some comments from a few birders and John D has added some photos to the checklist here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S98193322

Two things to note: The bill has a bit of a concave (scoop-shaped) look, indicative of Tundra Swan. It also shows that the black pinches down and barely touches the eye, also indicative of Tundra.

Lastly, after looking at LOTS of Tundra Swan photos (including the November 16, 2020 Batiquitos bird), I’m more confident in calling this a Tundra, and it seems to be OK that this bird shows very little or no yellow on the bill. The amount of yellow varies widely and there are plenty of Tundra photos with no visible yellow on the bill.

If anyone is interested, a good comparison of the two species is here: https://www.trumpeterswansociety.org/swan-information/identification/voice-head-and-bill.html

Before I switch my eBird report to Tundra Swan, I thought I would put my above thoughts out there for additional comments / critique.

David Trissel
San Diego, CA

On Nov 28, 2021, at 2:25 PM, David Trissel <dtrisse1@san.rr.com> wrote:

The Trumpeter/Tundra Swan found yesterday by Tito continued at the far east end of Batiquitos Lagoon today from at least 6:45 to 9:45. The bird moves around a lot and hides in the reeds for extended periods of time. It never came close to any vantage point that I could find. First spotted from El Camino Real just north of La Costa Avenue, then seen from the north side (Chollas Point?), then disappeared for over 30 minutes, then spotted again from El Camino Real and then it headed due west. So we tried from the “normal” trailhead/overlook on Batiquitos Drive (hotspot) and were unsuccessful.

I’m hoping someone with good digiscoping skills is able to get some good ID shots. I did not see any yellow on the bill/face through the scope, despite seeing it from many angles and in different light.

My eBird list is here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S98193322
Description: Too distant to determine which it is. Bill looks entirely black in scope. Cannot tell relative bill size/shape. Black appears to pinch down and barely touch the eye giving the impression the eye is almost isolated from the black.

If anyone would like to experience a little bit of the frustration of looking at a too-distant swan for three hours, here is my Flickr album of 45 very distant, blurry, grainy attempts to photograph this bird: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmXci6P7

Enjoy!

David Trissel
San Diego, CA

On Nov 27, 2021, at 6:16 PM, Tito Gonzalez <txsandpiper@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

I'm including more information on swan I observed just before dusk. As many of you know, Swan ID at Batiquitos is complicated as Trumpeter Swans introduced to Lake San Marcos are known to occasionally visit the Lagoon. Furthermore a Tundra Swan was found last year at this time. So both are known to visit the location. I was able to use my improving digi-scoping methods to get a reasonable highly magnified image despite the distance and conditions. The picture and some observation notes are in the following ebird report. I'm interested in any comments and tips regarding ID.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S98163329

Tito Gonzalez
Carlsbad, CA