The attraction of seeing a Tundra Swan in Nova Scotia and the chance to visit Ikea again had Sandra, me, Mike and Sandra heading off towards Hubbards then Dartmouth on Jan-11, 2018. That sentence contains truths and deceptions, I’ll leave you to decide which is which, the photo of the swan below may help you to decide.
Since we have resided in Nova Scotia there have been no twitchable swans, there was a Trumpeter somewhere in Bridgewater but the details were vague and the swan news didn’t get out in time. Thankfully this Tundra Swan chose to be both obvious and public, an easy twitch for a change. The plan was to see the swan, and see another bit of NS we’d never visited, Hubbards and the bay are very nice. Then the girls would do whatever it is they do in Ikea, wandering around looking aimless I think, while the boys did the same thing but with the chance of a Mew Gull on the partially frozen Sullivan’s Pond.
The ice and snow were all but gone so it was an easy roll to the swan and, after a couple of miss-turns we had safely secured our prize. The traffic was remarkably light around Halifax and Dartmouth and so getting to Ikea was simplicity itself. A very short while later we were at Sullivan’s Pond where a Mew Gull, no, I think I’ll call it what it is, a Common Gull dropped in and was tempted towards us via the illegal application of cat kibbles, the gulling chum I almost always carry in winter.
On the grassy banks ducks grazed, amongst them some very confiding American Wigeon.
We bumped into Richard Stern who told of a Wood Duck on some nearby pond so we scooted off and found it pretty quickly, along with four Northern Pintail that were trying to trip us up as we walked around. We were also entertained by gangs of school kids walking on the ice but time was short and we didn’t have it to spend watching the Darwinian experiment besides, the pond was probably pretty shallow and so it would have just been a soaking rather than a Darwin Award had any gone through.
We ended the foray, having collected the purchases and purchasers from Ikea, with a jolly good curry in Bayer’s Lake. The swan was the first NS tick of 2018, as unexpected as it was welcome.