Swan-in-a-million location to see beautiful majestic birds during migration
LONDON, ONT. -- The annual spring tundra swan migration has begun, and that means for the next three weeks thousands of the elegant creatures will pass through southwestern Ontario.
The call of the tundra swan is a like music to the ears of nature enthusiasts.
"It's really interesting to see all the swans, it's beautiful," says Mary Wilson.
Many people will flock to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Aylmer, Ont. in the coming weeks to take in the sights and sounds of the annual tundra swan migration.
Jim Bayler drove in from Tillsonburg after seeing the swans flying above his home a few days ago. He says he figured they must have a place to land along their migration, and found out that place is the WMA.
"As a nature lover, it's fantastic seeing all these birds that really live in the Arctic most of the year and we get a chance to see them just for a little while as they're passing through. I think it's amazing," he says.
WMA Manager Ron Casier says the area is considered one of the best places in North America to see the wild swans.
"We are expecting anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 birds to pass through this part of Ontario. A good number of them will make a stop here at the wildlife area because we have corn, 24 bushels of corn in the morning, that will help them through their migration."
Casier says this is the first staging area in Canada. From here they'll move on towards northern Minnesota and then southern Manitoba as they re-enter Canada and continue their migration to the high Artic.
Frank Pelsoczi has lived in St. Thomas for many years, but this is the first time he's made the trip to see the swans.
"This is the positive thing about COVID - we are now discovering our beautiful area," said Pelsoczi, who has been taking photos to share in a Facebook group called the EPICS by Railway City Photographers.
The peak time for observation will be the last week of March, where you can see between 3,000-5,000 birds per day.
Due to COVID-19, the annual interpretation program that is run by volunteers has been cancelled this year.
Casier is hoping to keep the two viewing stands open, and is asking people to social distance and wear masks as a precaution.