Tundra swans stop off for a rest in a farmer's field near Erieau. Photo taken February 28, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Diane Smith)

Tundra Swans Touch Down In Erieau

It’s another sign that spring is on the way — the tundra swans are back in Chatham-Kent.

A bevy of the birds has stopped in the Erieau-area for a brief rest on their annual migration to their breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic.

Jess Matthews, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Rondeau Provincial Park, says the weather appears to be co-operating for the swans.

“The milder weather meant the ice broke up on [Rondeau Bay], so they have got the bay to stop over in to take a rest from their migration,” says Matthews. “The fields in local areas are also flooded, so they’ve got those areas to stop over in as well.”

Matthews says about 50,000 of the birds are expected to pass through Chatham-Kent this month, but if the areas with open water freeze over again, the swans may fly over instead of stopping in.

She says the “early birds” are the ones stopping off right now, so if you haven’t seen any yet, you should still have time to catch a glimpse of them.

“They have flown as far as Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend and they are in the Thedford Marshes,” says Matthews. “Anywhere in between Pinery and Rondeau at this point, in flooded farm fields or in bays — those are good places to see them.”

She says they’re also hoping to have a good turnout of swans for the park’s annual Wings of Spring event, which is taking place over March Break from March 10-18.

You can find more information on that event by clicking here.