After spending several weeks in Greece for the Eleonora’s falcon (enjoying the sunshine and the beach, in the meantime…), getting “crazy” in Poland trying to find the bison in the Bialowieza forest, I’m back again in the field for my 3rd mission for Wild Wonders of Europe. And once more, I’m travelling with my wife Stéphanie.
This time I’m particularly happy because my “target” species for this mission are among my favourite birds: the swans and the cranes.
My destination is Sweden, and I’m starting from Lake Tysslingen, where up to 4000 whooper swans are resting for a few weeks, during their migrating route to Finland and Russia.
When we arrive at Tysslingen the temperature is -17°C. Too cold for us! We are coming from Italy, where springtime has already arrived… But this cold weather is not very welcoming for the swan either. During the first two days, the swans stay longer on the lake and come to the field only two hours later then usual… Not many good images the first days then, but the spectacle of the swans flying from the lake to the field is unbelievable!
Waiting for the swans, I have time to discuss (and joke also!) with the local guide and ornithologist, Ola Åhlén. Ola is conscientiously counting the swans: this morning he’ll count to 3452 swans!
Finally, yesterday morning we woke up to a wonderful snowfall: a perfect situation for the images I dreamed of. I’m posting some shots from this magic morning.
The whooper swan is a great conservation success story. In Sweden the increase of the population has been phenomenal: from 30 to 6000 breeding pairs in the last 30 years! And this thanks also to a place like Tysslingen, and the work of people like Ola Åhlén, and all the friendly and passionate volunteers working there.
Unfortunately, we could not stay longer at Tysslingen; tomorrow we move to Hornborga, where up to 13.000 cranes are waiting for us…
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.