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I'm almost positive these are Trumpeter Swans but keep second-guessing myself as to whether they could be Tundra since the lighting was pretty bad to see any field marks. I've seen Trumpeters before (a group flying past the observation tower at Reifel) but never a wild Tundra (only seen Bewick's swan at a zoo in Japan).

I was at a local duck pond in Surrey (beside 104 Avenue in Fraser Glen) on November 23 and suddenly two swans flew directly over me (they didn't land but continued to fly in a northeasterly direction). The birds were fairly high up and I was beside a busy road, so I couldn't hear their calls either. ... 4756925883

The lighting was poor and I couldn't get a clear view of the field marks. I tried brightening up the images later on as seen here. What I have second thoughts about is that in one or two of the pictures there seem to be a light, red or yellowish spot on the bill, but not directly below the eye - to me it looked more like chromatic aberration from the lens or image noise than an actual spot on the bill (may also be that the cere region is reflecting differently). Otherwise I don't see any yellow on the lores in either of the birds.

This was the best image I could get, cropped and brightened up. No yellow on the lores and the black forms a triangular shape (but the bird above this one seemed slightly squared). In photos I've seen of Tundras and some Trumpeters the the black near the cheek is somewhat rounded or squared off.


David Sibley wrote on his site that there are some differences with how the two species fly such as that the Trumpeter's wings are slightly more cupped and arched, or that the neck is drooped at the base which is seen in some of my pictures. Other than his site I couldn't find any information on the differences in flight between the two species. I'm wondering if there's any other tips as to differentiating swans in flight.

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