Most days I stop by Peace Valley on my way to work and scope out Lake Galena. Today I got there a bit later than normal and the water was choppy. From the road, I usually see a flotilla of over a thousand Common Mergansers, but they weren't there this morning. From over a quarter mile away I could see several large white birds floating in the middle of the lake, and guessed they were swans. Driving closer, I got out the scope to see if they were roving Mute Swans, or perhaps a group of migratory Tundra Swans heading north.
Luck was on my side, as the scope revealed them to be six Tundra Swans, necks bowed, facing into the wind. Graceful and sharp-looking, a nice view after a frustrating morning struggling under the kitchen sink with leaky plumbing. Though they didn't soothe all my jangled nerves, they did provide a measure of peace, and greatly improved my mood. It isn't every day that I get to see a lake graced by swans. Fortunately, it isn't every day that I so desperately need their stately grace to brighten my morning. But today, I took the swan sighting as auspicious, and was glad that Peace Valley truly lived up to its name.
The Urban Birds of Austin, Texas
4 hours ago