There has been a bit of lively discussion lately among the big bird watchers here in King Salmon government housing. It seems that what I (and others) thought were trumpeter swans are really tundra swans. This was after much referral with that bible of bird-watching, Sibley's, and also with a returning employee who knows his swans.
The swans are quite difficult to distinguish in the field, but apparently the tundra swans nest around here, while the trumpeter swans are quite rare. So, chances are more than good that what I see and hear on the river (they still trumpet awfully loudly!) are tundra swans.
Okee dokee then. Tundra swans they are. I sit corrected.
It has been snowing pretty much all day, but not sticking to the ground. Still, I have walked around - late this morning along the road past the FAA facility for a couple miles (not quite the mile or so further to the float plane dock but I'll get there), and later in the afternoon a couple miles to and from a farewell party for a departing Katmai employee. All that new fleece and rain gear I bought has surely been worth it so far!
First day on the job starts tomorrow morning at 8 a.am. Apparently our first duty will be to go back out at high tide and watch for the beluga whales.
I'll be there early.