For all you shoppers out there this is your favorite time of the year. For me, following the swans always coincides with Thanksgiving and Christmas. The swans are out in the lakes and rivers but the freezing temperatures brings them to areas where we can expect to see them for photography. I can tell when we are close to the right time of the year because the Bald Eagles are also moving into the area, fishing and hunting on the dwindling areas of open water. The swans love the shallow water where rice beds grew during the summer. So this year was no different than last except with the lack of snow cover. The Gull River near the Gull Dam south to the Sylvan Dam are my hot spots. The Pillager Dam is also very good. Find the longest lens you can mount on to your camera and crawl along the bank. You will hear them talking to each other because they have probably already spotted you. For the Christmas season I have photographed seven swans swimming in the Gull River.
*A personal thank you to Ann Windorski for her swan spotting skills and to Jim Kalkofen for his eye for detail, pointing out the Christmas phrase of seven swans swimming.